LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The family of a 19-year-old man shot to death by police in Pasadena have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Relatives of Kendrec Lavelle McDade say officers “intentionally” killed the unarmed teen in “callous disregard” for his civil rights.
The complaint filed Tuesday says officers Jeffrey Newlen and Mathew Griffin caused McDade’s death “without lawful cause or justification, and acting under color of law.”
The officers shot McDade on March 25 when they saw him running and mistakenly thought he was carrying a gun, according to Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle. They had been responding to a 911 call by Pasadena resident Oscar Carillo, who told an emergency dispatcher that two armed suspects had taken his backpack.
Carrillo, 26, later admitted that while his backpack had been stolen, the suspects were not armed, police said. He was arrested last week on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly lying to the 911 dispatcher.
Los Angeles County prosecutors Monday declined to file an involuntary manslaughter charge against Carrillo, who remains jailed on an immigration hold.
Newlen and Griffin have been placed on paid administrative leave.
McDade and a 17-year-old boy who was with him are accused of burglarizing Carrillo’s vehicle, but they were not armed, according to police.
The boy has been charged with grand theft, commercial burglary and failure to register as a gang member as a condition of probation.
Carrillo told authorities that he lied about being robbed by armed assailants because he thought it would make officers respond faster.
According to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified general and punitive damages, McDade “did not die immediately.”
The suit also alleges McDade “tried to talk with officers” after being shot in the chest multiple times, but was left on the street “for a protracted period of time without… first aid.”
Pasadena City Attorney Michele Bagneris declined to comment on the suit.
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