Funeral services were held Saturday for 19-year-old Kendrec McDade, who was shot and killed by Pasadena, California police on March 24. Police say they thought McDade was armed, so they shot him when he reached for his waistband but McDade was unarmed, he never had a gun.
The complicated sequence of events started out with a 911 call from Oscar Carrillo, 26, who told the dispatcher his laptop was stolen at gunpoint by two armed men.
“Eh, miss, two guys just stole my backpack. They put a gun on my face right now,” Carrillo told the 911 operator. “I’m on Raymond and Orange Grove. They just run away.”
Carrillo later admitted that the suspects were not armed and had taken his property out of his car. He said he told police the suspects had guns in order to get officers to respond faster.
Now Pasadena Police want to charge Carrillo with involuntary manslaughter.
“The actions of the 911 caller set the minds of the officers,” Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez said at a press conference shortly after the shooting.
Carrillo was briefly jailed while police investigated whether he could be charged with involuntary manslaughter but was released days later. The Los Angeles County district attorney has, so far, declined to file charges against Carrillo.
He does however have a different type of punishment already. Carillo, who is the father of two U.S. born children, is undocumented and now has a deportation order placed on him.
Carrillo’s deportation order has been postponed, at the request of Pasadena police, until the cop shooting investigation is complete, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice told a KNBC in Los Angeles.
Caree Harper, an attorney representing McDade’s family, told the AP that arresting Carrillo may be an attempt by police to shift blame away from the officers. Harper added that Carrillo should be prosecuted for filing a false police report.
Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, also told the AP that like the Trayvon Martin case, the Pasadena shooting highlights the need for a continuing discussion about racial profiling.
“The bigger picture is bias and racism,” said Mitchell, secretary of the Legislative Black Caucus. “And while the particulars of the two cases may be different — while the perpetrator who actually fired the weapon may be different — the fact of the matter is two young black men are dead.”
“However, he didn’t pull the trigger and the officers can use discretion,” she said. “They can’t blame the caller because they shot an unarmed black man.”
On Friday the FBI announced it will open a civil rights investigation on the shooting of McDade’s case.