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Police Say Shooting of Unarmed Suspect Was Lawful

Published on Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 6:16 am
Kendrec McDade

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.

“The loss of any life, regardless of the circumstances, is always tragic. The shooting involving Kendrec McDade is no exception,” said Pasadena Police Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez.

“Whenever 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 Department’s Administrative analysis and the utilization of independent reviews serve to meet these obligations,” Sanchez said.

McDade’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 the man who reported the backpack theft, Oscar Carrillo, falsely told a 911 dispatcher he had been robbed by armed assailants on Orange Grove Boulevard at Summit Avenue.

Carrillo later recanted his earlier statements and admitted that he never saw a gun, but lied to the 911 operator because he was mad and believed 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 Department’s Detective Section and the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene, according to the statement.

The Police Department’s criminal investigation report was forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and on December 17, 2012, the District Attorney’s Office completed their own investigation concluding that, “the officers acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others,” 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.


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