Crime & Justice

Officers who killed Kendrec McDade made tactical errors

Kendrec McDade
Kendrec McDade
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Two Pasadena police officers 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.

The mother of 19-year old Kendrec McDade, killed by Pasadena police, addressed the Pasadena City Council on Monday, during public comment at its regular meeting.

“Both of them should have been punished,” said Anya Slaughter, McDade's mother, during an interview with KPCC.

An independent report that evaluated the police shooting has been hung up in court since September, but parts of it were revealed in a court filing earlier this month.

According to excerpts of the report quoted in a March 16 court filing, the officers “repeatedly made tactical decisions that were not congruent with principles of officer safety.”

Officers Matthew Griffin and Jeffery Newlen shot and killed the teenager on March 24, 2012, while responding to an armed robbery call. It later turned out that the 911 caller who reported the robbery had lied about the suspect being armed.

The Pasadena Police Department hired a consultant – the Office of Independent Review (OIR) Group – to examine the incident and offer recommendations.

Responding to public pressure, Pasadena city officials announced they would publicly release a redacted version of the report.

In response, the Pasadena Police Officers’ Association, which represents rank-and-file officers, sued the city, arguing the report was part of officer employment records and was therefore confidential. The police union lost that argument in court in November and appealed the decision.

A report hidden within a court filing

Within the appellate court filing, attorneys for the police union mistakenly revealed portions of the report. The following are some excerpts:

An appeals court judge sealed this court filing April 25 at the request of the police union, but the mother of McDade and Pasadena civil rights activists are fighting to have the filing unsealed.

“I want this tragic incident not to happen to someone else again,” Slaughter said. “I want Kendrec to be the breaker of this misconduct that is going on in the Pasadena Police Department.” 

The attorney representing the Pasadena police union did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Pasadena Police Department said the two officers were not disciplined because they did not violate policy.

A follow-up hearing on the report is scheduled for April 21.