The Los Angeles District Attorney's office is weighing manslaughter charges against 911 caller, Oscar Carrillo. On the night of March 24, Carrillo called Pasadena Police to report he'd been robbed at gunpoint. He told the dispatcher repeatedly that the two alleged thieves had guns. Police responded immediately to the high-priority call.
They found a young black man who matched the suspects' descriptions. According to police accounts, 19-year old Kendrec McDade reached for his waistband near the squad car. In response, the two officers fired multiple shots, killing McDade. It turned out the young man neither had weapons nor any stolen goods. Since then, Carrillo has admitted he lied about seeing weapons so the police would respond sooner. "His brazen lie triggered a series of events that caused my client's son to be killed on the street like a dog, and we want justice," McDade family lawyer, Caree Harper, told the Pasadena Sun.
Carrillo was arrested for involuntary manslaughter last Wednesday, but formal charges are under review by the D.A. The two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave. Over the weekend, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez held a community meeting to allay concerns around the case.
Where does accountability lie in this case? 911 callers are known to exaggerate – how much should police officers rely on information from those calls? Have you ever cried wolf in a 911 call to get priority attention from first responders?
Erika Aguilar, Crime & Safety Reporter, KPCC
Laurie Levenson, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School
David Klinger, former Los Angeles Police Department officer, associate professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St.Louis and author of “Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force”