Wednesday, May 20, 2015
NO JUSTICE FOR BLACK YOUTH KILLED BY PASADENA PD
NO JUSTICE FOR BLACK YOUTH KILLED BY PASADENA POLICE
10/16/14 A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that the city of Pasadena can release a redacted version of an independent report (OIR) on the officer-involved deadly shooting of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade. No charges were filed against the officers and they are on duty. They were not charged with involuntary manslaughter, Thus far there is neither the redacted report nor a non-redacted report made available to the citizeny.
So where is the report? If one searches on-line it cannot be found in the Pasadena Star News. Their search engine doesn’t even come up with the name Kendrec McDade. The local PBS station, KPPC, has nothing. Several of us are on the case and are demanding the version, of which 20% is redacted, from city hall. Why hasn’t the City Council made this public?
Two Pasadena police officers, Matthew Griffen and Jeffery Newlen, who shot and killed an unarmed teenager three years ago were not disciplined for the shooting and made tactical errors during the incident, according to a court document.
According to part of the an Office Of independent Review (OIR) According to excerpts of the report quoted in a March 16, 2014 court filing, the officers “repeatedly made tactical decisions that were not congruent with principles of officer safety.” Some of these severe errors are enumerated in the (OIR) but 20% of the report is being withheld from the public. But what has been released in the OIR is not nearly as specific as in the depositions taken of the officers themselves.
The` officers said they chased McDade in a police car, without lights and sirens, following a report of an armed robbery. At one point, Newlen exited the patrol car and began to chase McDade on foot through the dark streets in northwest Pasadena. Griffin remained in the car, and fired the first shot when he said McDade began running into the street toward him.
Newlen said he fired from the sidewalk after he saw a “muzzle flash” near the rear of the police car.
“I saw him run directly at the drivers side door of the police car. I heard a shot. I heard two shots specifically. At one point I saw a muzzle flash, I believed that my partner had just been killed and he was turning and firing at me,” Newlen said, adding that he saw McDade turning toward him in a “crouched position.”
Both officers said they did not see McDade’s hands during the altercation and never saw a weapon.
The officers also indicate a Pasadena police patrol car was wrecked when it struck a wall during the brief pursuit of McDade. Newlen said he told McDade to stop as he chased him on foot, but Griffin said he did not give any commands before firing at McDade.
An attorney asks, “Did you ever say to him, ‘Put your hands up’ before you shot him?”
Griffin’s answer was, “No.”
Later on Griffin was asked, “Did you give him any warning at all you were going to shoot?”
Griffin again answered “No.”
Griffin admits his patrol car, left in reverse, injured him and nearly ran over McDade in the seconds after the fatal shots were fired.
Both officers said the incident was the first time they had been involved in a shooting. The officers were legally cleared in the shooting by the District Attorney’s Office and an internal policy review. Both have returned to patrol duty.
One wonders if the 20% of the OIR, which the judge allowed to be redacted relates to these damning statements by the officers.
Pasadena citizens or those whose business or pleasure takes them to the city should demand answers from the Pasadena PD and city hall. We need the whole report—which we don’t yet have-- not some redacted version or, at least for now, the redacted one. Are the Pasadena Police and city hall trying to hide something?
Meanwhile we’ll try to get the redacted OIR report, which seems to be withheld from the public. It should be public information. Stay tuned.