The parents of slain 19 year-old college student Kendrec McDade are bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pasadena Police Department.

According to the Huffington Post, the McDade family contends that McDade’s death isĀ  “part of a pattern of abuse by the department and that the investigation ‘reeks’ of a cover up.

The chain of events leading to McDade’s death began on March 24th, when Oscar Carrillo called 911 to report that’s he’d allegedly been robbed at gunpoint by two men. Carrillo was lying about the use of guns in the robbery; Pasadena police say that Carrillo’s untruthful phone call led them to believe that McDade was armed when they approached him in an alley a couple of blocks from where the robbery took place. Kendrec allegedly reached for his waistband, prompting the police to fire upon him, killing him.

McDade did not have a weapon.

From the Huffington Post:

“The federal lawsuit alleges McDade’s death was part of a pattern of abuse and killings of black people in Pasadena at the hands of police, including the shooting death of Leroy Barnes Jr. who was shot 11 times in 2009 by the department’s officers.

The lawsuit said Officer Jeffrey Newlen shot McDade several times after pursuing the teen on foot, while Officer Mathew Griffin fired several shots from his police cruiser. The suit said McDade was never ordered to stop and police reports do not mention the teen defying police orders.”

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Were the police officers justified in shooting Kendrec McDade?

Are their actions a part of a larger pattern of police abuse towards young Black males?

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