Black Pasadena Police officer files racial discrimination lawsuit against employer

The Pasadena Police Department faces a lawsuit after one of its officers filed a racial discrimination lawsuit alleging systemic racism. 

Officer Taisyn Crutchfield was a national award-winning NCAA track star in the 100-meter dash. The beauty queen who is running for Miss Oregon USA 2024, holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in criminology. However, despite her accomplishments, she claims she’s been a victim of racial discrimination and racial profiling as a Pasadena PD officer. 

Officer Crutchfield’s family members, including her father and brother, attended Friday’s news conference alongside her legal team. 

Attorney Bradley Gage explained the lawsuit stems from an incident in January after an African-American man was shot and killed by police. About a month later, his sons, still grieving the loss of their father, were out on the streets. At some point, an officer allegedly grabbed one of his sons and placed his face into a flower that contained a cactus with sharp thorns.

Officer Crutchfield then reportedly utilized her police training to de-escalate the situation and aimed to push the officer away. Her colleague allegedly used foul language and once a sergeant arrived at the scene, she was relieved of her duties. 

Her legal team said this is just one of the incidents in which she was treated differently than other groups of officers. 

Attorney Gage added the city of Pasadena has a history of racial profiling and shooting far too many Black men. 

Throughout her time at the department, other officers were accused of using racial slurs and engaging in other behaviors related to discrimination. Instead of their behavior being addressed, they were instead promoted to higher ranks within the department. 

Taisyn Crutchfield

Her father told reporters that her goal was to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the inner-city community. 

On December 1, the City of Pasadena issued a statement calling the accounts shared on the Feb. 2023 incident "inaccurate." Below is the statement issued by the city:

"The City of Pasadena is aware of a claim filed on Thursday, November 30 against the City on behalf of a member of the Pasadena Police Department.

The facts alleged about the incident are inaccurate, as is evident in the video:

The City will vigorously defend itself in this matter and the facts will prevail. The Pasadena Police Department proudly serves the residents of Pasadena with honor and integrity, and is proud of its diversity throughout all ranks of the Department."

Crutchfield has since been re-instated since January's incident.