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FBI will probe police shooting of unarmed college student

April 6, 2012 |  5:44 pm

Photo: An undated family photo of Kendrec McDade. Credit: Associated Press
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

The FBI announced Friday that it will open a civil rights investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed college student by Pasadena police.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the inquiry was launched independently of a call by Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez for the bureau to look into the shooting of Kendrec McDade.

"We were well aware of the shooting through the media attention," Eimiller said.

In a statement, the bureau added: "The FBI is assessing the incident involving the Pasadena Police Department on March 24, 2012, which resulted in the death of Kendrec McDade. The FBI will seek to determine whether a violation of federal civil rights law was a factor."

McDade was shot by two Pasadena police officers shortly after they responded to a 911 call about an armed robbery on Orange Grove Boulevard. McDade was a suspect, according to police, but was unarmed at the time he died. Police later said the 911 caller lied about the existence of a gun.

The case has set off a strong reaction among civil rights activists and McDade's relatives, seeking a full explanation of the evening's events.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation offers another independent level of review,” Sanchez said in a statement.

The department is conducting its own inquiry, as is the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and the county Sheriff's Department's Office of Independent Review.

[For the record, 8:58 p.m. Friday, April 6: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Laura Eimiller as Lisa.]


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-- Richard Winton and Adolfo Flores

Photo: Kendrec McDade