Crime & Justice

Kendrec McDade: Pasadena police union will appeal court decision to release report

Pasadena Police Department car.
Pasadena Police Department car.
Stock Photo Erika Aguilar/KPCC

The release of an independent report on a Pasadena police shooting that killed an unarmed teen two years ago was delayed again Thursday by legal tactics of the police union.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that a redacted copy of the report was public but then granted a motion by the Pasadena Police Officers' Association to delay the release for 20 days so the union can appeal to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The police union sued the city in September to prevent it from releasing the report by an outside consultant who reviewed the fatal police shooting of 19-year old Kendrec McDade. The consultant also offered recommendations for the Pasadena Police Department.

The shooting fractured police relations with the community. Since then, there has been a debate about whether more civilian oversight of the police department is needed.

Some Pasadena city council members, who have not seen nor read the independent report, have said its release is important to building trust between the police and the community.

In court on Thursday, attorneys for the police union, the city of Pasadena, community groups and the Los Angeles Times argued over the judge’s anticipated order to release the report and his ultimate decision to delay it.

“I’m sure all of you are going to tell your clients, ‘we won,’” said Judge James Chalfant.

And in a way, each side did.

“Everyone got a little piece of the apple,” said PPOA attorney Richard Shinee.

About 20 percent of the document has been redacted but Shinee said the report still makes too much confidential police personnel information public.

“It’s troubling,” he said. “It needs to be decided by the court of appeals.” 

Dale Gronemeier, the attorney for Kendrec McDade’s mother and other Pasadena area community groups, said he was pleased the judge decided the report should be released. Gronemeier said what happens next will depend on how quickly the appeal court responds.

“It could be as early as December or it could be February next year,” he said.