The fatal March 24, 2012 shooting of a 19-year-old unarmed backpack theft suspect by two Pasadena police officers was lawful and within departmental policy, according to a statement released by the Pasadena Police Department on Thursday.
The Pasadena Police Department is now waiting for independent reviews being conducted by the Office of Independent Review Group and the FBI, which will be made available to the public, once they receive, according to the statement.
â€œThe loss of any life, regardless of the circumstances, is always tragic. The shooting involving Kendrec McDade is no exception,â€ said Pasadena Police Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez.
â€œWhenever lethal force is used, it demands a comprehensive review to evaluate tactics, communication, equipment and conduct of the officer(s) To that end, the completion of the Departmentâ€™s Administrative analysis and the utilization of independent reviews serve to meet these obligations,â€ Sanchez said.
McDadeâ€™s shooting led to an outcry from the public who claimed police used excessive force by firing on the unarmed teenager. McDade’s father and others have filed a suit against Pasadena police, alleging that Newlen and Griffin caused the death “without lawful cause orjustification, and acting under color of law.”
Police said the two officers believed the teenager had a weapon, because theÂ man who reported the backpack theft, Oscar Carrillo, falsely told a 911Â dispatcher he had been robbed by armed assailants on Orange Grove Boulevard at Summit Avenue.
Carrillo later recanted his earlier statements and admitted that heÂ never saw a gun, but lied to the 911 operator because he was mad and believedÂ that the police would respond more quickly if they believed a gun was involved.
Patrol Officers Jeffrey Newlen and Matthew Griffin responded to the scene and located suspect Kendrec McDade at Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. An officer involved shooting occurred, following a foot pursuit and confrontation with McDade. He later died from his injuries, according to a statement from the Pasadena Police Department.
Investigators from the Pasadena Police Departmentâ€™s Detective Section and the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorneyâ€™s Office responded to the scene, according to the statement.
The Police Departmentâ€™s criminal investigation report was forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorneyâ€™s Office and on December 17, 2012, the District Attorneyâ€™s Office completed their own investigation concluding that, â€œthe officers acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others,â€ read the statement.
On March 15, 2013, the Pasadena Police Department concluded the Administrative Review on the shooting, which included the Use of Force Review Board.