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Mother of Pasadena teen shot by police drops three from lawsuit

September 14, 2012 | 10:25 am

Anya Slaughter, left, and Kenneth McDade, parents of Kendrec McDade, who was shot to death by Pasadena police, speak to the media at a news conference in Pasadena in March.

The mother of a teen shot to death by police in March has dropped three Pasadena police officials from her civil-rights lawsuit against the city.

Kendrec McDade, 19, was killed by two officers who were responding to reports of an armed robbery March 24. Officers Mathew Griffin and Jeff Newlen chased McDade into a dark street in Northwest Pasadena and shot him when his hand was at his waistband, believing he was armed, police said.

Investigators later discovered he was not armed and the 911 caller had lied about seeing weapons in order to get a quicker police response.

The complaint filed on behalf of McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter, dismisses Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Lt. Phlunte Riddle and Det. Keith Gomez. Her attorney, Dale Galipo, didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

“Kendrec McDade is but one of many recent victims of so-called ‘waistband shootings,’” said the complaint filed on Sept. 6, “a disturbing trend in the Los Angeles area that features unarmed citizens shot dead by police officers who later claim that the victim was ‘reaching into his waistband’ immediately before the shooting.”

The previous complaint, filed by attorney Caree Harper on behalf of his parents, named the city, Sanchez, Riddle, Gomez, Griffin and Newlen. Harper no longer represents Slaughter, but continues to represent the man’s father, Kenneth McDade.

A judge is currently considering whether to dismiss parts of the lawsuit. Pasadena had asked the court to remove allegations it believes are unrelated, including dismissing those who were not directly involved in the shooting.

Gomez was involved in follow-up investigations in the McDade shooting and was accused of being involved in a cover-up in Harper’s complaint. Gomez is currently under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in an unrelated matter.

Officials are looking into allegations that Gomez falsified evidence and lied on the stand in the trial of a Pasadena man who was fatally shot in 2006. Riddle was included in the previous complaint for allegedly making false statements to the press.

Sanchez was accused of mishandling the investigation and failing to implement recommendations regarding officer-involved shootings.


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Photo: Anya Slaughter, left, and Kenneth McDade, parents of Kendrec McDade, speak at a news conference in Pasadena in March. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times