Pasadena Police Officer, Corporal Gomez to be Investigated by County Sheriff’s Dept.
By Terry Miller
Phlunte’ Riddle, Lieutenant Pasadena Police Department, confirmed Thursday that that an internal investigation regarding a Pasadena Corporal in the police dept. has been turned over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at the request of Chief Sanchez.
Corporal Keith Gomez is the second Pasadena police officer to be investigated by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in as many months. He has been accused of threatening to kill a suspect in a homicide case according to sworn testimony.
The other officer being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. is officer Kevin Okamoto who has been placed on paid leave from the department.
Okamoto was, at one time, Gomez’ partner. However, the two cases are separate matters and will be handled accordingly by the Sheriff’s Dept.
“Once the Sheriff’s Department completes its investigation, and makes a determination, the chief will then decide what action to take.” Lt. Riddle told the Pasadena Independent Thursday afternoon.
It has been incorrectly and repeatedly reported in a local daily newspaper that Corporal Gomez is the lead investigator in the McDade case. The lead investigator in the McDade shooting is Jason VanHecke according to Lt. Riddle.
Attorney Caree Harper, who filed the original lawsuit on behalf of the McDade family in April, amended the lawsuit Tuesday to include allegations that Corporal Gomez failed to record the interview of a 17-year-old boy who was with McDade on the night of the shooting of Kendrec McDade. Harper has also taken exception to the presence of Corporal Gomez at McDade’s autopsy.
The investigation ( of Corporal Gomez) came to Chief Sanchez’ desk after a Pasadena resident who was accused of participating in a murder, filed a complaint. .
According to a signed statement by J. Harvey, Corporal Gomez threatened to kill him during an interview. An alternate juror in that case signed a sworn declaration in which she said Corporal Gomez “invented evidence” in the case against Harvey. Harvey was found not guilty after three trials the last being with a hung jury.