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Parents of man shot by police question the autopsy report

May 14, 2012|Adolfo Flores
  • Anya Slaughter, left, and Kenneth McDade, parents of 17-year-old Kendrec McDade, accompanied by attorney Caree Harper.
Anya Slaughter, left, and Kenneth McDade, parents of 17-year-old Kendrec… (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles…)

The parents of Kendrec McDade have reviewed the autopsy report of their 19-year-old son, who was fatally shot in March by Pasadena police, and said they were concerned that he may have been shot from behind.

The report, released by the L.A. County coroner's office Friday, shows that the unarmed McDade was shot four times at point-blank range by one officer and was alive and handcuffed after being struck by a total of seven bullets.

At a news conference Saturday, Caree Harper, an attorney for McDade's family, said the bullets that hit McDade's arms and one that hit his hip appear to contradict the police's assertion that none of the shots came from behind him.

A diagram in the report appears to indicate one bullet entered McDade through the back, but the narrative states that bullet's trajectory was "front to back and downward."

"No matter how you want to twist it, there were one, two, three and a possible fourth shot" to the back, Harper said.

She also emphasized the downward trajectory of some of the bullets. "This to us indicates he was either falling or on the ground when he was shot."

Lt. Phlunte Riddle of the Pasadena Police Department said some of the bullets entered through McDade's arms because of his movements at the time of the shooting.

In a federal lawsuit, McDade's parents, Anya Slaughter and Kenneth McDade, also allege McDade was left on the street for a prolonged period of time after the March 24 shooting without receiving first aid. The coroner's report shed no light on this allegation.

McDade, of Azusa, was killed when Pasadena Officers Jeff Newlen and Mathew Griffin responded to a report of an armed robbery at a taco truck in northwest Pasadena. One of the officers pursued McDade on foot and the other from his police cruiser.

The first officer who fired did so while seated in the patrol car as McDade approached with his hand at his waistband. McDade and the officer were "within a foot" of each other, according to the autopsy report.

After he was shot, authorities determined that McDade was unarmed and that the theft victim, Oscar Carrillo, had lied about his assailants having weapons to get a quicker response from police.

The officer who was seated in the patrol car fired four rounds through an open window, according to the report. The other officer, who was on foot, fired four rounds, believing his partner was involved in a gunfight. The department isn't releasing information about which officer was in the cruiser and which one was on foot.

A doctor at Huntington Memorial Hospital ruled that McDade died of bullet wounds to the abdomen. The autopsy report found that three shots struck McDade in the abdomen or hip, one struck his right leg, two hit his right arm and one his left arm.

The report also showed McDade had alcohol and traces of marijuana in his system at the time he died.

Police have said they believe McDade was the lookout for another teen involved in the theft, though Harper disputes that assertion.

McDade's mother asked anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

"I want Kendrec's name to be cleared of any wrongdoing," she said, "and I want the cops to be held accountable for my son's death."

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adolpho.flores@latimes.com

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