NAACP Pasadena Branch President Joe Brown renewed his demand that Pasadena police release information on the training backgrounds of the officers involved in the March 24 shooting death of Kendrec McDade. Only now, Brown has the help of a First Amendment attorney in getting what he’s after.
A letter delivered Monday to Assistant City Attorney Ann Rider and copied to City Manager Michael Beck and Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez is a follow-up to an April 5 request filed by Brown seeking Pasadena police policy routine and tactical and robbery responses, as well as audio and video recording and the firing of guns from a vehicle.
The letter also demands the release of McDade’s autopsy report, a document usually released by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, not police.
“I must clarify that we [the Pasadena NAACP] are not on a fishing expedition into the personal files of police officers. One of our rationales was not relevant to your denials,” the letter reads.
In addition, former Altadena Town Councilman Steve Lamb on Tuesday filed his own pubic records request with Pasadena police, demanding documents related to policy regarding firearms use and officer training.
Lamb also requests the exact time of the shooting and when officers called paramedics, when EMTs arrived at the scene and the exact time of McDade’s death.
Although the NAACP letter bears Brown’s signature, it appears to have been co-authored by an attorney. Brown told the Weekly Tuesday he’d received legal advice, but would not reveal the identity of the attorney who helped him. He said McDade family attorney Caree Harper played no part in writing or delivering the letter.
Shortly after the Weekly interviewed Brown, he issued a press statement clarifying the cases cited in the document and emphasized Harper had no involvement in producing the letter.
McDade was shot by two officers Matthew Griffin and Jeff Newlen at around 11 p.m. on March 24 in the 700 block of Sunset Avenue, shortly after police were called to the corner of North Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard by 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo-Gonzalez. Carrillo-Gonzalez alleged he was robbed at gunpoint by McDade and a 17-year-old male.
Griffin and Newlen spotted McDade and chased him — one officer driving the squad car and firing from the vehicle, the other on foot and also firing — to Sunset Avenue, where the unarmed McDade collapsed after being shot eight times. McDade, officers said later, was reaching for his waist when he was shot.
Since the shooting, Harper has filed a federal civil lawsuit on behalf of McDade’s family against the city, the Police Department, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez and members of his staff. Harper has also filed a claim for damages against the city in relation to the shooting.
To read both letters, click here.