More than 100 demonstrators rallied in front of the steps of city hall on Tuesday in support of justice for an unarmed teen that was killed by Pasadena Police on March 24th.
Two Pasadena police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade in an alley when they saw him reach for his waistband. McDade was unarmed, he never had a gun.
McDade’s father Kenneth spoke at the event organized by NAACP leaders and Pasadena clergy members.
“Somebody cut him down for no reason,” Kenneth McDade said. “Somebody’s got to be held accountable. As long as I’ve got life in my body I’m going to find out what happened to my son.”
Community members held signs with images of Trayvon Martin next to images of McDade and point to similarities in both cases—both were unarmed, young black males.
“We have our own Trayvon Martin here,” said Michelle White, Executive Director at Affordable Housing Services and President of the ACLU Chapter in Pasadena. (White did not speak on behalf of the ACLU.)
“Young black males are just an endangered species in the United States and Pasadena is no different in that regard.”
Both officers have been placed on paid leave pending four different investigations - two by county agencies, one by the Pasadena Police Department and one by the FBI - are underway.
The McDade family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and its police department on April 3.
“As long as we don’t do nothing about it and just let them get away with it, it’s going to keep on happening over and over,” Kenneth McDade told the crowd.
Demonstrators held signs with the names of nine men killed by the Pasadena police offices during the last 19 years. (Photo by Jorge Rivas for Colorlines.com)