The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) is calling for an independent, third-party investigation of the officer-involved fatal shooting of 20-year-old Kendrec Lavelle McDade last Saturday in Pasadena. The organization is also adding its voice to calls by the Pasadena Star and others for the Pasadena Police Department to release copies of police records from the evening of the shooting, along with the names of the officers involved.
“The shooting of a resident by police is an extraordinarily serious incident in any community -- it puts great stress on the trust between police and the public,” said Peter Bibring, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. “The best way of protecting that trust is for the department to provide the fullest transparency possible — that includes immediately retaining an impartial investigator and releasing the names of the officers involved, as the law requires. Obtaining review of the incident by an independent agency helps inform the community what happened and provide confidence that police have nothing to hide.”
In 2009, 38-year-old Pasadena resident Leroy Barnes was shot to death by officers during a traffic stop. Following calls by the ACLU/SC and other organizations for review by an outside agency, Pasadena retained the Office of Independent Review (OIR), an oversight agency that contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, to review their internal investigation into the shooting. The report issued by OIR described the incident and investigation in great deal, and offered a number of recommendations, nearly all of which Pasadena ultimately adopted.
Pasadena police say the shooting occurred following an armed robbery of a food truck. Officers say they chased a suspect, McDade, and fired when they saw him put his hand in the waistband of his pants. He was later found to be unarmed.