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Rally held for teen killed in Pasadena police shooting

April 11, 2012 |  7:45 am

About 150 people clutched white candles and held signs displaying the names of men who have been killed by Pasadena police in a rally held to call attention to violence against young black men, including Kendrec McDade.

McDade, 19, of Azusa, died March 24, about a month after 16-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a security guard in Florida. Both were unarmed.

"We're here to show a unified Pasadena community that says, 'No more dead kids or adults, by anyone,' " Martin Gordon, chairman of the Pasadena Community Coalition, said Tuesday night on the steps of City Hall, according to the Pasadena Sun.

McDade’s mother and father, Anya Slaughter and Kenneth McDade, were in attendance and visibly emotional.

"Never in a million years did I think I was going to wake up on Saturday and get the information I got," Kenneth McDade said of the night his son died. "Someone has to be held accountable."

McDade was shot late March 24 by two Pasadena police officers responding to a report of an armed robbery near a taco truck on Orange Grove Boulevard. One of the officers fired while seated inside of his police cruiser when McDade approached the vehicle with his hand at his waistband, according to Pasadena police.

The robbery victim who called police, Oscar Carrillo, later admitted he had not seen a weapon and lied to get a quicker police response. He was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, but the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has not filed charges.

The FBI, the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's task force and the Pasadena Police Department are all conducting investigations.

"There is a cover-up amongst us and we need to get on top of it," Caree Harper, an attorney for the McDade family, told the crowd. "Tomorrow it might be your son."

Harper, who has filed a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit against the Pasadena Police Department, said she’s working to weed out the "bad apples" in law enforcement.

"I’m here for the 90% that do their job and the 10% who don’t do their job," Harper said.

NAACP official Ron Hasson said his organization is compiling data on the recent string of killings of black men, including shootings in Tulsa, Okla.

"What’s going on in Pasadena is going on across the United States," Hasson said. "The Trayvon Martin situation has been the spark that has brought the attention of our citizens."

Sharon Kyle, a Pasadena resident and publisher of an online social justice blog, said she attended as an African American mother.

"The fear of a mother of a black son is significantly different than the fears other mothers have," Kyle said. "I have that fear because we live in a country that has demonized ... young black men and said their lives are not valued."

-- Adolfo Flores, Times Community News

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