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L.A. County watchdog asked to probe Pasadena police shooting

The Pasadena chief asks for the investigation. The slaying occurred as two officers were seeking a pair who ransacked a car and pointed a weapon at the owner. The slain man attended Citrus College.

March 28, 2012|By Adolfo Flores and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez asked a county law enforcement watchdog agency Tuesday to investigate the shooting of an unarmed man by two of his officers.

Kendrec McDade, 20, was shot as the officers pursued two men suspected of ransacking a car and pointing a weapon at the car owner about 11 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Sanchez said he asked Michael Gennaco, head of the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, to help conduct an investigation into the fatal shooting.

The chief's announcement came as McDade's mother hired an attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union called for an independent investigation. Religious and civil rights leaders in the area have demanded to speak to Sanchez about the slaying.

"I just want to make sure justice is served for my son," said Anya Slaughter, who was surrounded by photographs and plaques from her son's days as a football player at Azusa High School. "I'm very devastated. He was my world."

McDade attended Citrus College and was interested in studying law, family and friends said.

The killing is also being investigated by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, which probes all deadly officer-involved shootings. In addition, Sanchez said that his department has launched an investigation and that officers are interviewing witnesses and reviewing videotape and audio transmissions.

The deadly confrontation began when a car owner said he was returning from a taco truck at Orange Grove Boulevard and Summit Avenue. He told investigators that he found two men rifling through his car, police said. The man told officers that one thief pulled out a handgun before taking a laptop from the car.

The car owner told officers that he initially backed off but began chasing the assailants as they fled. The man called police on his cellphone and gave a description of the pair.

An officer on foot patrol and another in a car spotted McDade and shot at him after he appeared to reach into his waistband, according to Lt. Phlunte Riddle. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Police said there was no weapon or laptop found in the area.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the robbery. On Tuesday, he was charged with two counts of commercial burglary, grand theft and failing to register as a gang member, the district attorney's office said.

Pasadena police have not released the names of the officers involved.

adolfo.flores@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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