Parents File Wrongful Death Suit in Killing of Unarmed Pasadena Teen

April 5, 2012  |  

Another unarmed black teen has been killed, and like in the case of Trayvon Martin, the parents of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade believe racial profiling and foul play are at work. According to a police account on the Daily Beast:

“A dispatcher received a 911 call around 11 p.m. [March 24] from 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo, who said that two black men wearing black sweaters had stolen his computer and backpack from his car, and that one of them ‘put a gun in my face right now.’ Carrillo told the dispatcher that one fled west on Orange Grove Boulevard while the other, who Carrillo said had a gun, ran north on Raymond Avenue.

“Moments later, police caught up with two teens in an alley about two blocks away. McDade ran from the police, until one of the officers used the police cruiser to block his path. When McDade allegedly made a move at his waistband, the officer in the cruiser opened fire, according to police. The other officer, who was on foot chasing McDade, also began shooting. McDade was hit several times and died at a nearby hospital.”

Despite the fact that both teens were later found to be unarmed and Carillo admitted that he lied when he told police the Citrus College student pulled a gun on him so they would respond faster, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against the 911 caller. According to police, McDade acted as a lookout during the robbery, and his 17-year-old friend has been charged with two felony counts of commercial burglary, one felony count of grand theft property, and one misdemeanor count of failing to register as a gang member.

McDade’s parents say the police chief is trying to “vilify” their son to “distract from the undeniable fact that his officers killed an unarmed man,” and they have filed a lawsuit accusing the Pasadena Police Department of mishandling the incident and the follow-up investigation into the shooting. The suit alleges that after the shooting the Pasadena police chief asked an officer “who has been directly responsible for multiple controversial killings of young black men in Pasadena” to investigate the shooting of McDade.

Caree Harper, who is representing McDade’s parents, said “They have made a million mistakes in this case,” and added, “The cover up is always the worst.”

Carrillo was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office declined to file charges Tuesday and sent the case back to the police for further investigation. Carrillo, who is Mexican, was detained by the federal Immigration Customs and Enforcement but has since been released with an electronic monitoring device. He had been previously deported from the United States in 2006 as well. McDade’s parents say without his false 911 call, their son would still be alive.

“I want the world to know that he’s not what the Pasadena police has portrayed him to be,” McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter said. “He was one of those kids who stayed in school. I don’t believe he did anything wrong. I think he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • guest

    this country is messed up

  • wait.. maybe im ignorant. But if he said two black men stole his computer, then the police find two suspicious black men in an alleyway? And it was said that one of them had a gun.And they ran which makes it more suspicious, how is that racial profiling? They were wrong no doubt, but racial profiling no..

  • L-Boogie

    This is really so sad.  The amount of Black men dying is of epic proportions.  

  • Smacks_hoes

    Lol some police officers are just as corrupt as criminals these days…

  • neche

    It is sad this took place. But the two situations are not the same. He was committing a crime, even if he was just the look out. He should have never ran from the police nor should he have reached for anything but the air. Yes the gentleman was wrong for lying on these teens about having a gun and the outcome may have turned out different. If the patented are upset with anyone, it should be the bun why placed yes call

    • neche

      If the parents are upset.. sorry using this phone

  • Lalatarea

    not the same AT ALL! this young man was not an innocent victim he was an accomplice in a crime and he RAN from a Cop but if he did do anything aside from putting his hands up or laying on the ground it is reasonable that the police thought he had a weapon and they are trained to shoot NOT wait to be shot at first

  • luverly

    Someone was still unarmed and killed. Too many police officers are using excessive force, unnecessarily.

    • LaLaLaMeansILoveYou

       Thank you. Even though no, the 2 cases aren’t on the same level, I do believe that too many people (of ALL races) are buying into the media’s ploy to vilify the victims. I don’t care what he did, if he was unarmed then the police had no right to kill him. I do believe in such a thing as DUE PROCESS of law, and there are way too many cops and citizens alike out here trying to be judge, jury, and executioners, especially when it comes to our young black men.

    • Guest

      Come on, are you serious? What would you do if you were told that this THEIF had a gun and you see him reaching for his waist band, just stand there and wait to get shot? That teen was stupid, he should have put his hands up. Ill admit maybe the cop could have used a taser if he had one, but if he didn’t he was right to shoot.  Police officers want to get home to their families too you know?The kid shouldn’t have been robbing people. I don’t have sypmathy for people who live this type of life style and get killed. If the cops were told this guy was unarmed and shot him anyway then you have a point. I don’t think the cops did anything wrong here. The kid who lied is more at faukt then cops in my opinion.

  • Misspatterson821

    exactly! Trayvon’s case is no comparison. Let’s be clear… sad nonetheless.. but different. Young brothers need to wake up!! Don’t give ANYONE a reason to vilify you… let’s get educated, build our communities, and act like men! Robbing, rapping, and “balling” aint cutting it anymore. We have to take back our communities and stop acting like victims in these cases! Trying to compare to the Trayvon case will take away from the validity of a young INNOCENT brother just waling around…being black. stay focused.

  • Being-honest

    Don’t try to put these two on the level of Trayvon, they actually did something wrong