A New Captain and a Pleasant New Attitude in Altadena

I had an unexpected opportunity to personally meet our new Captain, Steve McLean and his Lieutenant Roosevelt Johnson. Just when you think you’re out, you’re back in.

I was driving home late Thursday night on March 11th at about 12:30am, north on Lincoln. I had just crossed over Altadena Drive when I noticed a car speed up behind me with its lights on very bright. As I was speaking with my friend on the phone, I said, “Oh no, the sheriffs are behind me,” but I knew that I had not committed any type of violation. The sheriffs followed me with their lights on bright from Lincoln to Cheney Trail. I was driving at the speed limit, but I was preparing for the worst. My friend advised me to keep her on the phone. All of a sudden, the sheriff made a quick left on Cheney Trail. It was obvious that the sheriff was running my plates as I was followed for that distance. This was definitely an uncomfortable experience.

The next morning, I found out that one of my best friends, Darrin Lyons, owner of Tangles and Locks hair salon in Altadena, had a similar but much more harrowing experience. The same evening, about one hour later at 1:30am, he was getting off work from his hair salon (which is located next to the Coffee Gallery) and was standing with his co-worker at his classic Corvette which was parked across the street. The sheriffs pulled up, made him place his hands on his car, checked his pockets, and pulled out his hard-earned money. They questioned him as to where he obtained the money, to which he responded that he was the owner of Tangles and Locks for 23 years and had just gotten off work. The sheriff stated that he did not know him, and proceeded to run his plates. The sheriff ran his plates twice, and was unable to pull the car up in his database. He stated that if he ran the plates one more time and could not pull up any information, he would impound his vehicle. Darrin had no clue as to why the sheriff had even approached him and his co-worker, as they had done absolutely nothing.

Upon discovering what had happened to my friend, I called Hon. Okorie Ezieme and informed him that we were on our way to the Sheriff’s Station to make a report. When we reached the station, none of the superiors were present, including Captain McLean. Hon. Ezieme advised that I reach out to new Council Member Greg Middleton, as he sits on the Sheriff’s Clergy. Hon. Middleton, who I refer to as Uncle Greg, said that he would make an immediate call to the Captain. The Captain agreed to meet the following Monday, March 15th, at 10:30am at Tangles and Locks. Hon. Ezieme, Hon. Middleton, Darrin Lyons, Lieutenant Johnson, Captain McLean, and I had a sit-down.

Captain McLean had actually met Darrin Lyons previously, as he had spoken with him one night (also at about 1:30am) regarding his classic Corvette. They had had a great meeting, and Captain McLean left with a good impression of Darrin’s character. He was surprised and disappointed at this latest incident involving the man he had recently met.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased with the outcome and in our new Captain’s disposition towards our community. He was very committed and aware of the responsibilities of the sheriffs to the community. He realizes that it is the community who pays the salaries of the sheriffs, and that each and every person should be treated with equal respect under the law. We have highly educated leaders leading our police force, as both Captain McLean and Lieutenant Johnson both hold Master’s degrees in their areas of expertise.

At the end of the meeting, we all felt very good. Instead of filing a report, it was decided that a conflict-resolution would be set up between Darrin Lyons and the sheriff involved.

I believe that this is great for our community. Captain McLean stated that they would be beefing up security in the area, and more stops could be expected, but that a full explanation should be offered as to why anyone is stopped.


Herbert Simmons, Darrin Lyons, Captain McLean, Lieutenant Johnson, and Hon. Ezieme (Photo taken by Hon. Middleton)