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Following $ 7.5 Million Settlement With City, Mothers of Slain Man’s Children, His Friends Gather at Memorial

Attorney Caree Harper: ‘Money won’t wipe away the pain’

Published on Saturday, November 20, 2021 | 6:12 am

Following the announcement of a $7.5 million settlement on behalf of the three minor children of Anthony McClain—a Black man shot to death by a Pasadena police officer during a traffic stop in August 2020—the mothers of two of the children gathered Friday at a sidewalk memorial with their attorney and friends to pay their respects and comment on the settlement.

The city and lawyers representing McClain’s children reached the settlement on Thursday. Each child will receive $2.5 million, according to the agreement. The city said in a statement that the settlement was not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing.

The settlement remains to be approved by the court. The city still faces two other lawsuits arising from the shooting.

“Even though the money is a considerable sum,” said Caree Harper, attorney for Solemuli Afaese and Diondra Williams, “the pain is going to be everlasting.”

“The daughter won’t have a father to walk her down the aisle,” she continued, “and the son won’t have a dad to cheer him on at his football game. There is a huge loss that can’t be filled.”

In the face of the settlement, attorney Harper remained critical of the city of Pasadena and its police department.

“Pasadena needs to start learning lessons to prevent things like this,” she said, and again demanded that the officer who fired the fatal shot in the shooting be fired immediately.

“No amount of money can replace a father figure,” said Afaese, who was also critical of police tactics in the shooting.

“Don’t shoot them in the back,” she said, tearfully, standing by the sidewalk arrangement of candles and flowers, which has remained undisturbed at the shooting site for more than a year.

“And please don’t handcuff them when they are down,” she continued, “because they are already wounded. You can’t possibly think that your life is in danger when they are already down and bleeding out.”

Williams echoed Afaese’s sentiments, saying “The settlement, it’s all right, but it’s not worth it. My daughter wakes up every night, crying for her dad. We sometimes find her in a corner, crying for her dad.”

A third mother, Kimberly Jenkins, who was not represented by Harper, was not present at the gathering.

In a statement announcing the settlement, the city said that “the death of Anthony McClain in 2020 was a tragic end to the life of a father of three minor children.”

The car in which McClain was riding was pulled over by police on North Raymond Avenue near La Pintoresca Park on August 15, 2020 at about 8 p.m. for failing to display a front license plate.

After the driver and McClain were asked to step out of the car, McClain ran from officers. Police say McClain removed a handgun from his waistband as he fled, prompting Officer Edwin Dumaguindin to open fire.

McClain continued running a short distance before tossing a handgun across the street and collapsing, according to police.

Some local residents say they don’t see a gun in body-worn camera footage of the incident.

McClain’s family members have argued that the shooting was unjustified.

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