Moral Low Ground


911 Caller Oscar Carrillo Arrested for Lying to Pasadena Cops in 911 Call Leading to Shooting Death of Unarmed Teen Kendrec McDade

Another unarmed black man shot dead by police

Police in Pasadena, California have arrested a 911 caller who claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint, a call which led to the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 26-year-old Oscar Carrillo has been arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade, who was shot and killed by Pasadena police Saturday night.

The shooting was the result of Carrillo’s 911 call to police in which he claimed that two armed men had robbed his laptop computer and backpack at gunpoint while he was buying tacos at a stand on Orange Grove Boulevard.

On the 911 tape, Carrillo is heard frantically claiming that he was robbed at gunpoint.

“Two guys… just put a gun in my face,” he said.

Police responded to the call believing they were looking for armed suspects. When they found McDade, the teen allegedly made a motion toward his waistband and the responding officers opened fire, fearing for their safety. McDade died of his injuries at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

No weapon or stolen goods were found. Police say that a surveillance camera near the taco stand does indeed show McDade and another young black man committing a theft.

But Carrillo was lying about being robbed at gunpoint.

“Mr. Carrillo emphatically indicated a gun was involved … that is very important. It sets the platform for the mind-set of the responding officers,” Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez announced at a news conference on Wednesday.

Kendrec McDade had been a football star at Azusa High School. He was attending Citrus College at the time of his death.

“He was a good kid who was never in trouble, never got suspended from school or anything like that,” Joe Scherf, head football coach at Azusa High, told the Los Angeles Times. “His mother was always behind him, making sure he was doing the right thing. I remember she pulled him out of practice when he got a really bad grade.”

“There is a great number of questions unanswered here…. The bottom line is this young man was not armed when he was shot dead. The underlying question is they said he is an armed robbery suspect, but they never recovered a gun,”  Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable told the Times. “He is not a gangbanger or a drug dealer.”

The names and race of the officers involved in the shooting have not yet been released. The killing occurred in a neighborhood known for tensions between blacks and police.

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