Three-way race

Three-way race

Two of three District 3 candidates faced gun charges in the 1990s

By André Coleman , Kevin Uhrich 12/12/2012

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Two of four candidates hoping to fill the Pasadena City Council seat left vacant by recently elected Assemblyman Chris Holden were charged in the 1990s in separate gun-related incidents, the Weekly has learned.

John Kennedy, currently a Los Angeles Urban League executive, and Ishmael Trone, a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce board of directors, faced separate charges in two incidents in 1993 and 1997, respectively.

Along with Trone and Kennedy, the Rev. Nicholas Benson of Summit Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena has qualified for the March 5 municipal election ballot.

In other council races, incumbent District 5 Councilman Victor Gordo will be seeking a fourth four-year term against former US Marine and Pasadena Marathon organizer Israel Estrada, and District 7 Councilman Terry Tornek will seek a second term, running unopposed, according to City Clerk Mark Jomsky.

Kennedy refused to go into detail about his felony acquittal when contacted by the Weekly. “It happened almost 20 years ago. It was an unfortunate incident, and I was found not guilty of all the charges,” Kennedy said of the incident in which he stood trial after seriously wounding a man in what he described as an “accident.” 

“What is important is I was exonerated and it happened 20 years ago and I have chosen to move on and do other positive things,” said Kennedy, brother of Lena Kennedy, a top fundraiser for the Obama campaign and a confidante of First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Trone, meanwhile, told the Weekly he had been working for a bail bond company owned by his parents in 1997 when he tried to board a plane with a loaded 22-calibre pistol in his bag.

Trone said his Pasadena neighborhood was so dangerous he did not feel safe coming to work late at night without a gun. Running late for a conference, Trone said he forgot his gun was in his briefcase while trying to board a plane. He was later charged with misdemeanor possession of a concealed weapon, resulting in a fine.

“That’s what led to my civic involvement, dealing with crime around our business,” Trone said. “I didn’t feel safe for me or my family. My parents … had multiple confrontations and were held up several times. It was a dangerous situation coming to the office in this neighborhood in 1997.”

In 1987, Kennedy was the youngest person elected to head the Pasadena NAACP Branch. Trone, who has lived in Pasadena for 30 years, is a former chair of the Fair Oaks Project Area Committee (PAC). He’s also served as vice chair of the Community Development Committee. Benson is the former vice chair of the Northwest Commission and current president of the Ministerial Association. 

There will be a runoff election on April 16 between the two top vote-getters for Holden’s former seat if none of the three candidates take 50 percent plus one vote of the ballots cast.

The council has voted to fill Holden’s position by appointing someone not running for his seat. The council will be taking applications until Dec. 27 and is expected to pick a temporary replacement for Holden in February. 


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Is this it? Is this the best representation for Northwest residents? Really? Kennedy shoots a guy in his car. Trone gets on an airplane with a gun. Yea, let's elect them. . . .

All these guys can say is we should forget about these things cuz they happened so long ago. . . I'm voting for the Benson unless we find out he was arrested too!

posted by Paul G on 12/17/12 @ 05:15 p.m.

Okay, so you do find a man-of-color in Pasadena wanting to represent its still (marginally at best) Black NW community that doesn't have an arrest record ... I'd like to know, how really black is he? In its history, the PPD has practiced many "shades-of-grey" regarding how it has jailed a disproportionate number of not-quite-Caucasian citizens for driving (or its analogue) while Black. As the shades grew darker, the chances of arrest became (and mostly remain) more likely.

So, what's the new "gun-control" litmus? Should all (amateur) politicians with a history of having either possessed or otherwise handled a gun automatically get prohibited from holding office? Or would only the more melanin-enriched be black-listed?

There should always be a recognized difference between getting arrested for a gun-related crime and being CONVICTED of a gun-crime. While we all profile, before petrifying our assessments, we should still ask, what are the facts?


posted by DanD on 12/18/12 @ 09:07 p.m.

Question for Mr. Trone, isn't it illegal to carry a loaded gun in your car?

posted by Vivavilla on 12/19/12 @ 06:11 a.m.

Oh boy what a bunch of sh-- from DanD. I am so tired of hearing how police target black citizens. If these two guys were white, running for office on the East side of town, they would be hammered for the very same thing. . .

C'mon, DanD most white people voted for a black president, can we get off the poor me I'm black thang!

posted by Paul G on 12/19/12 @ 04:57 p.m.

BTW, Trone has not done ANYTHING for Pasadana except for screaming RACISM from the top of his lungs when he wants to put the fear of God in all non-black people.

posted by Paul G on 12/19/12 @ 04:59 p.m.

Alright PG;

You tell me, why do you think that: "In 2010 black non-Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,347 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender. White males were incarcerated at the rate of 678 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 1,755 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents," ?

You don't think that (predominately institutional) racism doesn't play a controlling part in these incarceration statistics? Or is it your assessment that statistically, a greater chunck of them colored folks are genetically just more predisposed to commit jailable crimes? How are you slicing it with Occam's Razor?

And also, last November a plurality of white voters chose to install a half-Caucasian candidate back into the Oval Office. Within America's one-party duopoly, a mostly clueless electorate just made another of those "lesser-of-two-evils" choices, that's all.

Meanwhile, evil still rules.


posted by DanD on 12/19/12 @ 10:27 p.m.
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