Crime & Justice

Kendrec McDade: Judge approves eventual release of report but redaction details up in the air

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 allegedly reaching into 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 allegedly reaching into his waistband, according to police.
McDade Family File Photo/AP

The public will be able to read parts of an independent report on the Pasadena police shooting that killed 19-year old Kendrec McDade, a Los Angeles judge ruled Thursday, but it won't be any time soon.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant wrote in a 16-page ruling Thursday that the city of Pasadena could release a redacted version of the report. He'll decide later what exactly will be redacted, though.

“A redacted (Office of Independent Review) report preserves the officers’ privacy claims, and puts the city in position to disclose at least part of the report consistent with the public policy…,” Chalfant wrote.

The report is a review of the Pasadena police shooting from two years ago. Two officers responded to a 911 call about an armed robbery. During a car and foot chase, the officers shot and killed McDade, who police say matched a description of the robbery suspect. It later turned out that the 911 caller lied about the suspects having guns. McDade was not armed.

Pasadena city officials have already redacted about 20 percent of the independent report but Chalfant said he would consider additional requests for redactions until Tuesday.

Attorney Dale Gronemeier said he's still concerned that the redaction could shield Pasadena city officials from any criticism the consultant included in the report. Gronemeier represents McDade's mother Anya Slaughter and other community members who have requested copies of the report

"We aren’t getting the entire report released as we had hoped, but it remains to be seen whether our major concern will be satisfactorily addressed," Gronemeier said.

The Pasadena Police Officers’ Association sued the city to prevent it from releasing the independent report, done by the Office of Independent Review Group, a consulting firm that looked at the criminal and administrative investigations of the police shooting. It also made recommendations for the police department.

The PPOA argued the entire report should be sealed because it refers to information from officer personnel records. But Chalfant disagreed with the police union, writing in his ruling that records generated as part of an internal or administrative investigation of an officer are generally confidential but records about an incident are not.  

“The city has not redacted criminal investigation information, and the unredacted portions do not reveal the names of officers in connection with any disciplinary appeal or investigation of civilian complaint,”

This report has been hung up in court for about a month now and it could be another week or more before the report is made public.