Last March, police received a report that a taco truck in Pasadena, California had just been robbed. According to a recently released autopsy report, the two officers who arrived to investigate this report ran down and eventually shot a young black suspect seven times:
Nineteen-year-old Kendrec McDade was shot at point-blank range by one Pasadena police officer and handcuffed after being struck by a total of seven bullets, according to the autopsy report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. . . . Three of the wounds — two in his abdomen and one in his right arm — are considered potentially fatal because they lacerated arteries, according to Pasadena police. One bullet entered through the back of the right arm and another the back of the right forearm.
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 him 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.
It is not yet clear whether McDade was actually involved in the taco truck robbery or if he was merely a bystander. It is clear, however, that the police who shot McDade did so under a cloud of false information. McDade was not armed, and the alleged theft victim later admitted that he lied about his assailants having weapons in order to provoke a faster response by police.
McDade also does not fit the profile of the kind of person who would normally commit armed robbery. He has no gang ties or prior arrests, was a star football player in high school, and was a student at Citrus College at the time of his death.