Kendrec McDade: Judge orders report on police shooting sealed for now

In this undated family photo, Kendrec McDade, then a high school student, is seen wearing his Aztecs Football team uniform. McDade was shot by police after being chased and making a move, reaching toward his waistband, according to police.
In this undated family photo, Kendrec McDade, then a high school student, is seen wearing his Aztecs Football team uniform. McDade was shot by police after being chased and making a move, reaching toward his waistband, according to police. McDade Family File Photo

A judge has ordered the city of Pasadena to keep sealed an independent report that evaluates the fatal Pasadena police shooting of an unarmed teenager until a court hearing takes place later this month on whether it should be made public.

The Pasadena Police Officers Association had asked the judge for a temporary restraining order to block the city from releasing the report. The judge granted it and set a Sept. 23 hearing date.

The report, which was written by a private consulting firm, assesses how the Pasadena Police Department investigated the fatal officer-involved shooting of the unarmed, 19-year old Kendrec McDade in March 2012.

The shooting stunned residents, who protested for days against the Pasadena Police Department, citing past instances of officer shootings of black men.

McDade’s death came on the heels of the Florida killing of Travyon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

In Pasadena, the two officers who shot and killed McDade were cleared by the L.A. County District Attorney and by an internal police investigation.

In July, the city settled civil lawsuits with the parents of the slain teen for $1 million.

Pasadena city officials announced last month that the city would not make the entire report public because parts of it relate to personnel matters. But the city was willing to release the report's recommendations.

On Wednesday, Pasadena city spokesperson William Boyer said the city would not be releasing any part of the report now, but rather would wait to see what the judge decides at the Sept. 23 hearing.   

At the hearing, the police association, individuals and news organizations that have requested copies of the report can make their arguments as to why the documents should be made public or not.

At least four news media outlets, a Pasadena activist and the local chapter of the NAACP have submitted public records requests to obtain the report.

NAACP President Gary Moody said he is frustrated with the delay.

“We have [to] go down and file reports and file litigation just to get some information, … let alone just having transparency in this little community,” Moody said.

The Pasadena Police Officers’ Association did not return several calls from KPCC for comment.

But in an Aug. 20 email from PPOA attorney Richard Shinee to the private consulting firm that wrote the report, Shinee wrote, "I am told, but have not been able to confirm, that you link these police officers’ names to their discipline history and reference prior internal affairs investigations that involve them.” Shinee went on to write that the release of the report would violate “the police officers’ rights to privacy …”

KPCC obtained the email from the Pasadena city attorney’s office, which was included in that communication, as was a representative from the Pasadena Police Department.

This story has been updated.

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