Carrillo faces possible prosecution and deportation after officer-involved shooting death of unarmed teen

By André Coleman , Kevin Uhrich 03/29/2012

Like it? Tweet it! SHARE IT!

The man accused of making exaggerated statements that officials say led to the officer-involved shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager in Pasadena last Saturday night has been living in the United States without proper documentation and could face deportation after he is prosecuted, the Weekly has learned.


“He is in the country illegally,” Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said of 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo. 


Carrillo was being held on $25,000 bail after being arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade of Azusa, who was shot by two Pasadena police officers on Sunset Avenue near Orange Grove Boulevard. 


Carrillo, according to 911 tapes of the incident, first told police that McDade and another teen, also African American, had robbed his car and that both teens were armed with guns. Carrillo later admitted that he had fabricated the story to get police to the scene more quickly. Neither young man was armed.


“If he is convicted, he will go to through the process with immigration,” Riddle said of Carrillo. “But [deportation] is not part of the Police Department’s process,” Riddle said. “That is part of the court process and immigration.” 


Carrillo’s country of origin was not immediately known. Because courts and government offices were closed Friday in honor of Cesar Chavez Day, which is Saturday, it was also not immediately known whether the District Attorney’s Office would follow the police recommendation and file a charge of involuntary manslaughter against Carrillo. California law allows prosecutors to file murder charges against anyone implicated in a crime that results in a death.


In the March 24 incident, McDade and an unidentified 17-year-old allegedly broke into Carrillo’s car at about 11 p.m. near a taco truck parked around the corner of North Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard. Carrillo told authorities that he saw McDade and the youngster ransacking his car before they ran off in separate directions. 


When officers arrived, Carrillo told them that one of the youths had stolen his backpack. He also changed the story somewhat, saying one of the assailants was armed. Officers spotted McDade on Sunset Avenue and gave chase — one officer on foot, the other driving in a police cruiser. Fearing for their safety, the officers — Matthew Griffin and Jeffrey Newlen, both hired in 2007 — opened fire when they noticed McDade’s hands enter his waistband. 


Police scoured the area of the shooting for days, but did not find a gun. Carrillo was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter after it was determined that he had lied to police. 


“The Latino community always gets the wrong end of the stick. He was a victim and now he is arrested, and he is being deported. The people who killed [McDade] were the police, not this guy,” said one politically involved member of Pasadena’s Latino community who asked not to be identified. 


The 17-year-old male, who will be tried as a juvenile, faces two counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failing to register as a gang member, said Riddle.


Chief Phillip Sanchez and other police officials will address residents about the shooting at 9 a.m. Saturday at New Revelations Missionary Baptist Church, 855 N. Orange Grove Blvd. Sanchez said he has asked the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review to investigate the shooting.


The death of McDade comes as racial tensions grip the nation following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American youth, by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch patrol agent in a Florida housing complex.

The Pasadena shooting also occurred just five weeks from the 20-year anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots, which were sparked by the acquittal of the four LAPD officers seen in a videotaped beating Altadena’s Rodney King in March 1991.


In a prepared statement issued Sunday, NAACP Pasadena Branch President Joe Brown called for calm as police conduct their investigation of the McDade shooting. 


“I feel extremely bad for this young man. He could have been my son,” said the community activist. “But sending Oscar back to his country will not bring him back. Oscar was a victim, and now he is arrested. Unbelievable.”

DIGG | del.icio.us | REDDIT

Like it? Tweet it!

Other Stories by André Coleman

Other Stories by Kevin Uhrich

Related Articles


Smoke screen!

The mere idea that someone can be charged and prosecuted with manslaughter for lying to police about whether or not a suspect had a gun negatates the roles and responsibilities of the police officers for making the right decision when choosing to use deadly force.

One should not lie this way to get a police response, no doubt! But the final decison to pull the trigger was not the peprson who made the call. It appears the PPD made this arrest without consultation from the D.A.-- if so, very amateurish and naive of the police department.

posted by Emporer Has No Clothes on 3/29/12 @ 06:04 p.m.

Someone needs to police our police. I had a similar situation happen to me In Bosque County Texas over a mistaken 911 call. I was taken out of my car at gunpoint. The big difference is I'm alive to tell my story. It's very scary, and can be deadly, to have a gun pointed at your face. MWC.

posted by armymarshall on 3/29/12 @ 08:01 p.m.

Oh, and I wanted to add that I'm white so this can happen to any of us. MWC

posted by armymarshall on 3/29/12 @ 08:12 p.m.

There are countless errors in the handling of this tragic incident. I feel deeply for the officers involved, as the department is poring gasoline all over them....

posted by Emporer Has No Clothes on 3/29/12 @ 10:07 p.m.

One thing is nearly for certain, Kendrec would be alive today had he been playing scrabble at home with mom instead of out...

posted by True Freedom on 3/30/12 @ 10:06 a.m.

I view everyone as victims on this case, both of the officers and Mr. McDade and his family. Of course none of this would have happened had Mr. McDade decided not to commit a felony theft to begin with. And he certainly would still be alive today had Mr. McDade decided not to run from the officers and refuse their orders to stop. And we wouldn't even be discussing what would otherwise be a run of the mill felony arrest had Mr. Carrillo not lied to the 9-1-1 operator by telling her that the suspects were each armed with handguns. No, if none of those things happened then Mr. McDade would still be alive today. But they did happen, and the police officers were placed in an almost impossible position. Now they are being chastised by the very people they try their best to protect everyday. We know now, through the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, that Mr. McDade was unarmed, but at the time it was just the opposite. The officers had a split second to decide on a course of action and Mr. McDade's hand-actions forced their hand. Many people will now spend months analyzing this case and will finally come to a decision on how it should have been handled. The officers had a split second. Please, remember that.

posted by mikes949 on 3/30/12 @ 11:05 a.m.


Really? The PPD now wants to deport the guy who called 911.

This will leave a chilling effect on the number of undocumented community members who want to interact with the police department or the City. Great work Sanchez.....

You have now alienated the Black community, Latin community, police officer association, the media, and most likely all of the elected officials.

posted by Emporer Has No Clothes on 3/30/12 @ 08:43 p.m.

At a press conference, Sanchez was asked if it was against police department policy to shoot from inside the police car (as one of the officers did). The self described "use of force" expert (Sanchez), responded by telling the reporter he did not know, "but it could be a tactic". Huh? What does this mean? You honeymoon is over pal, time to "do chief" no just "be chief".

In case you need the answer to this question in the future, here it is:

The PPD policy does not specify whether shooting from the car is prohibited or not. But, a higher authority says it is approved as long as it is "objectively reasonable". This would be the United States Supreme Court, Graham v. Conner, Tennessee v. Garner.

posted by Emporer Has No Clothes on 3/30/12 @ 09:23 p.m.

To: Emperor Has No Clothes: that is a very convincing argument to me. It seems the chief of police should know what his use of force policy is and what the federal law has to say about this, i.e. tennessee v. Garner. This is basic use of force info that academy students are taught and are expected to know. The fact that a police chief is unaware of this is very surprising (and disturbing) to me.

posted by mikes949 on 3/30/12 @ 10:37 p.m.

I am EMBARRASSED and I can't hold my tongue any longer. Based upon the comments I hear I know I am speaking for most, if not all, of the police department employees.

Every time a press release is issued from the chief's office I pray it will not be embarrassing to us all, but without fail my prayers are never answered. Here are two examples:

On March 2, 2012 a press release was issued from the chief's office announcing the arrest and extradition of a homicide suspect. There were a number of grammatical errors (which is always the case) but it also contained these gems:

"The U.S. Marshalls and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office have been relentless in the processing of the extradition of Suspect Romero. On March 2, 2012, Romero was extradited and flown to the Los Angeles Airport to face United States persecution for the 1995 murder of Francisco Mora, MH 36 a Pasadena Resident."

"Suspect Romero was booked in the Pasadena City jail. On Friday, March 2, 2012, Romero will be arraigned at the Pasadena Superior Court on Monday March 5, 2012."

Would someone please inform the chief that contrary to the belief of some, the United States {government} does not persecute criminals, it prosecutes them. And will someone please teach him to make sure that periods are put in the correct spot. If he had done so it wouldn't have resulted in Romero getting arraigned both on March 2 and March 5.

But wait, there's more. On March 30 the chief's office issued a press release regarding the officer involved shooting from last week. Just six short paragraphs, but even that was messed up. Here is the exact text:

Officer Mathew Griffin male white, hired: 8-28-06. In 2007, Officer Griffin was involved in a shooting of a Rottweiller that was loose and had attached an individual and his dog.

Chief Phillip L. Sanchez said, “I am committed to thoroughly investigating the Officer Involved Shooting. This is why in addition to Pasadena Police Detectives Professional Standards investigation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Officer Involved Shooting Team are investigation as well as the Office of Independent review Group”.

Dear chief, or whoever, Rottweiler only has one L. Didn't your spellcheck pick that up? And the Rottweiler didn't attach and individual and his dog, it attacked them.

In the second paragraph the Pasadena Police Detectives and the Professional Standards investigation are two separate investigations, not one as written (confusing as it was). And the Los Angeles County District Attorney;s Officer Involved Shooting team is INVESTIGATING, not investigation.

These press releases are distributed to dozens of news organizations; police employees; city employees (including the city manager); and others. It's embarrassing to all of us and it's about time City Manager Beck does something about it.

posted by embarrassed1 on 3/31/12 @ 09:06 a.m.

Someone said it best in an earlier post. Time to "do chief" and not just be chief. It was only a matter of time before Sanchez was exposed. Sanchez is lost without a script or his wife to tell him what to say. He came from a department that had one of the most clear and transparent use of force policies, yet not only does he not implement a policy that more clearly defines today's law enforcement, but he doesn't even know Pasadena's policy. What's the first thing a new chief should do? Review those policies that will create the most liability for you and your city!! This is a tragedy for everyone involved and Sanchez will throw everyone under the bus to save his own ass.

posted by cobra on 3/31/12 @ 10:25 a.m.
posted by cobra on 3/31/12 @ 10:53 a.m.

I have been following the story close. I have many years in law enforcement. Reading these postings has made me think about the things Chief Sanchez has stated. I am concerned about his competence in the situation. At yesterday's community meeting at the church, the chief spoke of the video tape in the car not capturing the shooting. He told us the recorder only goes on when the car's lights (code three) are on. He then said the police department code three policy does not allow officers to go code three to a robbery. Chief Sanchez then said, since the officers to being sent to a robbery, they did not have the code three lights on, therefore, there is not video of the shooting. This is not true! An anonymous PPD insider told me this:
1. An officer may go code three (lights and siren and video) whenever they feel it is necessary. In fact, for an armed robbery in progress, it would be encouraged.
2. An officer may turn on the video from inside the car whenever they want to, it does not require the code three lights on.
The PW should be requesting copies of these policies and comparing them to what Chief Sanchez is saying. It appears he is wrong. This is misinformation in a time when we want to know!
The chief should take the time to know these things before he speaks. I'm not saying the man is lying or that he is not competent, but it is making many of us wonder if he was ready for this job.

posted by Paul G on 4/01/12 @ 01:12 p.m.

You make some valid points. I too have many years of LE experience. I can't remember not rolling code 3 to an armed robbery in progress where the suspects are fleeing. Sanchez said there was no longer an imminent threat to role code 3? Armed robbery suspects running with a gun (as falsely reported) is an imminent threat to both the public and the responding officers. Also, he states that officers shooting from their cars is a "tactic" and they are trained in this area. If it's a tactic being taught, that would be on an individual department basis. There are no winners here, very tragic.

posted by cobra on 4/01/12 @ 05:12 p.m.

I am hoping for some investigative reporting here and I want to see the community challenge what the chief is saying about theses things. He has backed himself in a corner with these statements. Many or most of them are wrong. I hope the PW concentrates on these. Each time the chief speaks, the city's credibility is reduced. Also, where has Michael Beck been hiding?

posted by Paul G on 4/01/12 @ 07:57 p.m.

After reading the comments by "Embarrassed1"" I took the time to go to the PPD web site and read the press releases. OMG, they are an English teacher's nightmare, each one having poor grammar and misspelled words. However, the best musings were found in the "Touching Bases" documents that Sanchez writes and sends to the community. What a waste of time. Who is taking the time to read these rants! There is NOTHING of substance in them. These have errors all the way through them! The officer who professed his or her embarrassment is not lying and I now understand why they made the comments. I am really sorry for the department. I guess mediocrity is all that can be achieved with this administration...

posted by Emperor has no clothes on 4/01/12 @ 08:08 p.m.

It seems that the Pasadena City Council should take advantage of PCC's English Department and enroll all "English-challenged police officers in its "bone-head" language proficency classes. Perhaps then PPD's senior officer attempts at propaganda production may be more digestible.

It also seems to me that shooting a gun while driving a police car is at least as dangerous as texting behind the wheel ... except that a bad marksman shooting in a low-rent neighborhood may get more than just his "man" laid out on a morgue-slab.

And doncha' know? in Southern California(and well, the rest of the United States)'s cop-culture, all people-of-color should always keep their hands at least at nose-level while out in the public domain so as not to inadvertantly scare their community's easily frightened badge-danglers ... it's also probably prudent that those with darker skin regularly wear pocketless, bright orange jump suits beyond their presumed house-arrest so as to alleviate any fear-factor that may invariably be exacerbated while crossing the paths of the law-enforcement class.

Additionally, all non-cops should always look down at the ground whenever confronted by an LE uniform, as actually looking any brand of gangbanger in the eye can only be interpreted as scarily aggressive behavior.

Anyway, shooting first and asking questions later has evolved into an extremely popular government tactic for training its revenue-source populations to remain docile during any paycheck-enhancing process of value-extraction. But it's all for a good cause you see, and Lord knows, we all want our law enforcers to live as unstressed and comfortable as possible ~


posted by DanD on 4/02/12 @ 05:14 a.m.

Paul G, this is a City Manager's nightmare. He and the Chief run around shaking hands all the while hoping a disaster like this never happens. Well it's here and it's time to "do Chief" rather than just be Chief. This is where Sanchez no longer can hide behind his press officer or his command staff. When I listen to him it's like, what did he just say? When the depositions are held for the upcoming lawsuit he'll be a mess in front of any attorney familiar with police practices and policies. Beck rolled the dice with Sanchez after former Chief Melekian threw Vicinio under the bus.

posted by cobra on 4/02/12 @ 07:17 a.m.

I just heard a news broadcast that the District Attorney did not file charges on the 911 caller in this case! What now, Sanchez? It is clear to the community the issues associated with this case are a result of poor management. That is what happens when Beck passed over competency and critical thinking for you.

posted by Paul G on 4/02/12 @ 06:54 p.m.

deport the guy...go over police procedure with the police...hello you be in a cop car as a officer and told prior that two guys of foot robbed my car and have guns armed and dangerous....tell me are you chasing them and feeling the fear that you may be shot by one of them in the line of duty doing your job? the guy lied in a big wayyyyyyyyyyy......he is being deported because he has been arrested has nothing to do with why he is arrested...any illegal immigrant that is arrested for any crime and is found to be illegal is deported.....tell him not to break the law as well..its too separate issues...he was arrested and found to be illegal..ok has nothing to do with him as a victim the victim too committed a crime and now someone is dead..look at every individual separately.....the police are not responsible if you must find blame..it goes to the kids robbing the car and the man that called the cops and lied...and it was a death lie...knowone is right here except the police...

posted by jenny111 on 4/03/12 @ 01:05 p.m.


Technically, an "illegal immigrant" is an extra-national who first received permission to enter this country and did so, but ultimately failed to sustain his/her immigration status. Thus, his status as an immigrant becomes illegal.

Illegally crossing the border does not automatically transform any non-citizen into an "immigrant." At best, they only become an "undocumented migrant." Another title that accurately describes an undocumented migrant is "criminal tresspasser."

Unless a non-citizen, prospective resident initially incurs the INS's (or some other relevant U.S. Government agency's) permission to reside within the United States before entry, they are otherwise then NOT residents, but only tresspassers. Certainly, they should not enjoy the resident protections afforded even to illegal immigrants, simply because they do not qualify.


posted by DanD on 4/04/12 @ 09:09 a.m.

Bring back Rick Law!

posted by Emporer Has No Clothes on 4/04/12 @ 12:49 p.m.
Post A Comment

Requires free registration.

(Forgotten your password?")