Nation

Parents allege wrongful death in shooting

PASADENA, Calif. - The parents of a college student who was shot and killed by Pasadena police alleged in a federal lawsuit that their son’s death was part of a pattern of abuse by the department and that the investigation reeks of a coverup.

Kenneth McDade and Anya Slaughter alleged in the wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday that the department tried to cover up its wrongdoing in the shooting death of their 19-year-old son, Kendrec McDade, on March 24.

Police blamed McDade’s fatal shooting on a man’s 911 call claiming he had been robbed at gunpoint by two men. Police said the phone call by Oscar Carrillo led officers to believe McDade was armed when they spotted him in an alley, and they opened fire after he allegedly made a motion at his waistband. McDade did not have a weapon. Carrillo later admitted to police that he lied about the gun.

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The federal lawsuit alleges that McDade’s death was part of a pattern of abuse and killings of black people in Pasadena at the hands of police, including the shooting death of Leroy Barnes Jr., who was shot 11 times in 2009 by the department’s officers. The lawsuit said Officer Jeffrey Newlen shot McDade several times after pursuing the teen on foot, while Officer Mathew Griffin fired several shots from his police cruiser. The suit said McDade was never ordered to stop and police reports do not mention the teen defying police orders.

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Officers have said they fired when McDade reached for his waistband.

Grief still evident in her red eyes and tired stare, Slaughter told the Associated Press that Pasadena police took her “baby.’’

Slaughter gave birth to her third child at Huntington Memorial Hospital a week before her first-born, Kendrec, died there.