The parents of Kendrec Lavelle McDade, the 19-year-old male shot to death by Pasadena police on March 24, have filed a lawsuit for damages in U.S. District Court against the city of Pasadena, the Pasadena Police Department, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez and three officers.
The suit alleges wrongful death in the violation of civil rights; unlwawful customs, practices and policies, and wrongful death due to negligence.
The suit was filed Tuesday morning by McDade’s parents Kenneth McDade and Anya Slaughter. It names the police officers involved: Matthew Griffin, Jeffrey Newlen and Det. Keith Gomez. According to the suit, “Gomez has been directly responsible for multiple controversial killings of young Black men in Pasadena yet Gomez was the defendant chief’s choice to investigate the controversial officer involved shooting.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County prosecutors said the case against the man accused of lying to a 911 dispatcher about being robbed by two armed men–McDade and another youth–is still under review pending further investigation.
“We have rejected it [the involuntary manslaughter charge] pending further investigation and we are doing legal research,” district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
Oscar Carrillo, 26, was arrested last week on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of McDade.
Police on March 28 released a copy of the 911 call made by Carrillo, who said he had been robbed by two people with guns the night of March 24.
Carrillo later admitted that while his backpack had been stolen, the suspects were not armed, police said.
Based on the 911 call, however, officers who responded to the scene believed the suspects involved in the robbery had weapons, police said. They found McDade running near Sunset Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, and officers opened fire, killing him. McDade was not armed.
The officers involved in the shooting, Jeffrey Newlen and Mathew Griffin, have been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation continues.
Police said McDade and a 17-year-old boy who was with him did indeed burglarize Carrillo’s vehicle and committed other commercial burglaries, but neither was armed. The boy has been charged with grand theft, commercial burglary and failure to register as a gang member as a condition of probation.
According to police, Carrillo admitted fabricating the story about being robbed by armed assailants, saying he was trying to get officers to respond faster.
On Tuesday, the victim’s father, Kenneth McDade, spoke on radio station KJLH “about his family’s outrage and their vow to fight for justice and the need for help in paying to bury Kendrec, which is estimated to cost $10,000,” according to eurweb.com.
“An emotional McDade cried on air, ‘he’s a good boy, he didn’t deserve that,’” eurweb reported. McDade vowed to fight for justice.
Carrillo, identified by the district attorney’s office and jail records as Oscar Carrillo-Gonzalez, remains jailed.
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez met Saturday morning with congregants and others at New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Pasadena to address issues arising over the shooting. Martin A. Gordon, a leader of the Pasadena Community Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times that the meeting “brought up more questions that it answers.”
City News Service contributed to this story.