Collusion Between Pasadena Police and SeaWorld Spy Found

City Hands Over Damning Evidence and Pays PETA $23,500 in Legal Fees

For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Pasadena, Calif. – PETA has scored a victory in a lawsuit taking on the Pasadena Police Department’s (PPD) efforts to cover up its collusion with SeaWorld in the arrest of SeaWorld protesters at the 2014 Rose Parade.

As a result of the lawsuit, the City of Pasadena has handed over a log of repeated communications between the PPD and an unidentified individual known to be “Thomas Jones”—whose real name is Paul T. McComb—the SeaWorld spy who attempted to incite animal advocates to perform illegal acts such as burning the park down and emptying its tanks. A few of McComb’s messages inciting violence and other illegal acts are still live on his Twitter feed today, including ones posted on July 3, July 9, and August 23, 2014. While first disavowing any knowledge of the infiltrator, believed to be one of at least three hired by SeaWorld, the company later admitted that McComb did (and still does) work for it.

The City of Pasadena has also paid PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—$23,500 in legal fees incurred while bringing the lawsuit to force the city’s compliance with the Public Records Act.

“As PETA suspected, the Pasadena Police Department has squandered time and taxpayers’ money—and has destroyed the public’s trust—in its failed attempt to conceal its involvement with this SeaWorld spy,” says general counsel to PETA Jeffrey Kerr. “From its corporate espionage to its refusal to release sensitive marine mammals to coastal sanctuaries, SeaWorld is ethically bankrupt.”

Of the 16 protesters arrested for engaging in a traditional, peaceful act of civil disobedience—sitting down in front of SeaWorld’s float at the Rose Parade—“Jones” was the only one to be released without charges. The PPD initially claimed that he had never been arrested and that no records of his arrest existed, despite photographic evidence—including this tweet—to the contrary. The arrested protesters reported that “Jones” was separated from them at booking, and he later claimed that he had cried until the PPD agreed to release him.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind