No decision made on release of Kendrec McDade shooting report

By Lauren Gold / Pasadena Star-News
Posted: 10/14/14, 5:08 PM PDT

pasadena teen killed by copsLOS ANGELES >> A superior court judge Tuesday delayed a decision on whether an independent report on the officer-involved shooting of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade should be released to the public.

However, the judge, James Chalfant, said he would likely allow the release of a redacted copy of the report.

“There are three possible outcomes here, full release, no release or a mix of the two and I’m leaning toward a mix of the two,” Chalfant said.

Pasadena Police officers Mathew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen fatally shot McDade in March 2012 following a short pursuit spurred by a false 9-1-1 call of an armed robbery. The officers were cleared in the shooting by an internal investigation and by the District Attorney’s Office. The city settled a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit filed by McDade’s parents for $1 million.

Depositions of the officers from the civil suit paint a picture of chaos and confusion on the dark streets of northwest Pasadena in the seconds before McDade was shot.

The report in question, prepared by the Office of Independent Review Group, contains a review of the shooting and offers recommendations for improvement in department policy based on the incident.

Last month Chalfant granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the release of the report in response to an application from the Pasadena Police Officers’ Association.

The Pasadena NAACP, community activist and local ACLU board member Kris Ockershauser, ACT, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Pasadena and the Los Angeles Times have objected to the union’s attempt to seal the report.

The city has said it redacted about 20 percent of the report, concealing information that was part of the internal investigation conducted after the shooting.

“We believe the administrative investigation is a personnel file and we’ve redacted that but we believe the rest (of the OIR report) is not a personnel file document,” Chief Assistant City Attorney Javan Rad said.

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