A 'host' of questions
Mother of slain teen removes Sanchez, Riddle and Gomez from federal lawsuit as protesters march on NAACP
By André Coleman 09/20/2012
One day after family members of a teen shot to death by Pasadena police protested outside a local NAACP awards ceremony emceed by Pasadena Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez, the mother of the slain teen dropped Sanchez and others from one of two federal lawsuits filed in relation to her son’s death.
Also dropped from that lawsuit were Pasadena police Detective Keith Gomez and Lt. Phlunte Riddle, who were not directly involved in the shooting death of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade. McDade was not armed at the time he was shot eight times by Officers Jeffrey Newlen and Matthew Griffin shortly before 11 p.m. March 24 near the corner of Sunset Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard. Remaining as defendants in that lawsuit are the city, Newlen and Griffin.
In a separate federal lawsuit filed on behalf of McDade’s father, Kenneth McDade, Sanchez, Gomez, the city and the officers remain as defendants pending US District Judge Dolly Gee’s decision on a request by City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris to remove Gomez, who investigated the scene of the shooting.
Kenneth McDade and a small group of protesters — many of them family members — demonstrated last Thursday outside the Pasadena Hilton Hotel where Sanchez was hosting the event for the NAACP, one the department’s harshest critics on that and other shooting incidents involving police.
Protesters claimed Pasadena NAACP President Joe Brown betrayed them by choosing Sanchez as host and Bagneris as the recipient of the prestigious Ruby Williams McKnight Award. A committee selected Bagneris for the award in January. According to Brown, Sanchez was chosen to host the awards program nine months ago, several weeks before McDade was shot.
“Because he was emcee, it doesn’t mean we agree with everything the chief does,” Brown told the Weekly. “There comes a point when you have to acknowledge the man is trying.”