Uprising Radio photograph.
Anybody else catch the dissonance in that Rising Sun flag?
But it's her grievance with the Pasadena police that I wish to address.
La Pintoresca Park, where I met Richards for an interview, is a large green space in the heart of the poorest part of Pasadena, not far from where McDade was shot. Low-income black and brown parents bring their kids to splash around in the water park on hot summer days. Teenagers whizz up and down the ramps of the skate park on their boards. Schoolkids gather for summer programs and free lunches. Neighbors smoke pot or sip beer from cans wrapped in paper bags. It is common to see Pasadena police harassing people in the park. It is also at this park that Richards regularly convenes the Pasadena chapter of Black Lives Matter, bringing together about 40 local neighbors to organize for change.No irony there: the park is an omnium-gatherum of assorted burnouts, and attempts by the civil authorities to keep the park minimally usable become harassment.
Richards moved to northwest Pasadena when she was 7 years old and lived near the corner of Los Robles and Orange Grove, just a few blocks from the park we were sitting in. It has a history of heavy police patrols and gang activity. She told me that law enforcement considered that street corner a “zero tolerance” area, which meant that any congregating by neighbors was treated as a threat to public safety. “I grew up lost, I grew up around here searching for answers,” she said. “I played basketball, but I didn’t have anybody to show me how to go to college, take the SATs or anything like that.”News flash: it wasn't the police activity that drove the positive role models out.
The wrong side of the expressway in Pasadena: Democrat policies at work.