The 911 call by Oscar Carrillo that led to the death of Kendrec McDade was “internally inconsistent, suspicious and ultimately felonious,” according to the wrongful death suit filed in federal court by attorney Caree Harper, who represents McDade’s parents, Kenneth McDade and Anya Slaughter. However, according to Harper, the civil rights complaint for damages has not yet been served.
Carillo, who accused McDade and another youth, both 17, of robbery, later admitted to police that he lied about being robbed at gunpoint. However, the lawsuit seems to cast doubt on whether he was robbed at all. When asked whether that is what the lawsuit is alleging, Harper was mostly noncommittal, saying only, “I’ll let the lawsuit speak for itself.”
There are four charges against the second youth, who according to the Pasadena Police has an extensive arrest record. He is charged with two counts of commercial burglary (of a business), grand theft (of Carillo) and failure to report as a gang member.
McDade had no record.
Although the “robbery and car burglary” that McDade and the other youth were alleged to have committed was near a taco stand on Orange Grove Boulevard, a popular gathering place for teens, no one saw the crime occur, says the lawsuit, which is filed in United States District Court, Central District.
Yet, “with each press conference defendant [Police Chief Phillip] Sanchez vilifies Kendrec McDade all the while knowing Mr. McDade did not engage in a felony that evening,” says the suit.
“In accordance with PPD’s [Pasadena Police Department] pattern and practice of covering up excessive force, defendant Sanchez, who is a policy-maker, has put the dead victim on trial and spun multiple accounts of what occurred on March 24, 2012, exacerbating the emotional distress of the plaintiffs.”
The suit alleges wrongful death in the violation of McDade’s civil rights, unlawful custom, practices and policies, and wrongful death due to negligence.
In addition to the city of Pasadena and Chief Sanchez, the suit also names officers Matthew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen, and Det. Keith Gomez.
It complains that 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 this controversial officer-involved shooting. This was not a ‘split-second decision.’ This was an intentional selection of Det. Gomez to investigate, and this reeks of a cover-up.”
It also alleges that “in doing each of the violations of law complained of herein, defendants, their agents and employees were acting under color of law. The acts complained of were willful, wanton, malicious and displayed a conscious disregard of, and in deliberate indifference to plaintiff’s constitutional rights.”
It goes on: “Specifically, the defendant, chief Sanchez continues to vilify Kendrec as a felon engaged in a felony that evening to distract from the undeniable fact that his officers killed an unarmed man. His officers’ police report (sic) are internally inconsistent and unbelievable. Chief Sanchez . . . perpetrates the remarkably unbelievable story that Kendrec ran toward the police car and Griffin could not get out quick enough while Kendrec approached holding his waistband.
Griffin shot through the driver (sic) side window while seated in his patrol car while fearing for his safety.
“It’s a practice of the city and its policymakers not to address relevant question (sic) like: Why weren’t the patrol units video-recorders activated to capture the video and audio of the incident.
“Witness accounts said there were no commands such as: “stop,” “halt,” “police,” “let me see your hands.” And the police reports do not say these orders were ever given to Kendrec McDade before he was gunned down.”