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Oversight Commission to Discuss Gascón Review of McClain Shooting

Published on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 | 12:39 pm
Credit: James Carbone

The city’s oversight commission will discuss the LA County District Attorney’s review of the fatal police shooting that took the life of a Pasadena man two years ago.

Anthony McClain was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in Aug. 2020.

According to the DA’s report “there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Dumaguindin did not act in lawful self-defense.”

McClain was shot and killed on North Raymond Avenue when he fled shortly after being asked to step out of the vehicle.

“As McClain ran, he swung his right arm in a typical running motion while keeping his left arm bent at the elbow and his left hand in front of his body,” according to the report.

“Dumaguindin stated something, possibly ‘Drop it,’ as he chased McClain. Dumaguindin held his service weapon with both hands and pointed it toward McClain as he ran. Mulrooney [the second officer at the scene] followed Dumaguindin, initially jogging and then walking, with his hand on his holstered service weapon. McClain continued to hold his left hand near his waistband as he ran.”

Police officers on the scene said McClain was armed, but local activists say McClain did not have a weapon. An unserialized ghost gun with McClain’s DNA was recovered at the crime scene, according to police.

Officer Edwin Dumaguindin said he believed McClain looked back at him to shoot him when he was fleeing.

“…Now he has more of a natural running motion with the weapon in his left hand. And then, as it blades across his body, he begins looking over his right shoulder … I’m seeing him like he’s looking for me to shoot me. That’s what I believe he’s doing. So, he has the gun. I can see the gun. Now, he’s looking for his target. And, I’m his target. He’s looking for me to engage at me.”

The report cited Tennessee vs. Garner. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling which struck down a Tennessee statute that allowed police to use deadly force against a suspected felon fleeing arrest.

But the High Court reaffirmed a lower court’s ruling that police officers can use force to prevent an escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

Both Dumaguindin and his partner have expressed the belief that McClain was armed. Under that belief, Dumaguindin could have perceived McClain as a significant threat.

AB 392 requires officers to de-escalate or use other tactics besides deadly force when it’s feasible to do so.

The city reached a $7.5 million settlement with McClain’s family.

In an information item last month the City Council discussed the police department’s OIS and critical incident policy.

The item was reviewed after activists continuously called on the City Council to order the City Manager to fire the police chief and Dumaguindin.

The City Council cannot fire police officers or order the City Manager to do so.

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