LAPD Shoot Teen In Alleged Armed Robbery, But No Gun Found
Kendrec McDade was gunned down by officers after he was seen reaching in waistband
LAPD officers find themselves in more controversy in event surrounding a weekend shooting involving a former high school football star.
According to reports, 19-year old Kendrec McDade and a 17-year old accomplice attempted to rob a man at a taco truck Saturday night. LA Weekly reports that McDade and his associate asked a man to buy them food and he refused. After that they broke into his car. The man returned to his car, catching McDade and his accomplice in the act. When he confronted them, he says one of the young men flashed what appeared to be a chrome gun. After a 911 call was made to report the incident officers arrived on the scene and began chasing the culprits.
During the foot chase, officers say they saw McDade reaching for his waistband. Fearing for their lives and assuming that he had a weapon, the officers opened fired on McDade, riddling him with bullets. Accounts of McDade being armed rest solely on what his potential robbing victim said over the phone. However, after detailed searches of the area, no gun has been found.
Local civil rights activists are now crying foul, comparing it to an early 2011 shooting of another high school football darling, Reggie Doucet.
Doucet was also a former local football star who went on to become a model. One night in January 2011, police were called to his residence during a fight with a taxi driver. When police arrived Doucet, who was said to be mentally ill, stripped naked and began running around. In the officers attempts to detain him, he punched them and reportedly grabbed for one of the cop's gun. Instead of using a taser, officers pulled their weapons and Doucet was shot twice. An investigation concluded that the officers did no wrong doing, even though an autopsy revealed that Doucet was in a kneeling position when he was shot. His family has filed a wrongful death suit.
Differing opinions are starting to surface after McDade's death. Family members and former coaches say that he was a stand up kid who never got in trouble. Commenters in LA Weeklys online community say that if he tried to rob someone and ran from cops, he is hardly "innocent."
On the heels of the police shootings of unarmed men like Ramarley Graham and Wenell Allen, who weren't necessarily doing "good deeds" in the street, tension continues to rise between police and the black community. Granted, not every person who gets shot by police is an "angel," but unarmed men being gunned down with little to punishment for those responsible is creating a slippery slope. Especially considering cases like McDade's where rules are being bent in the officer's favor. A new Los Angeles law says that officers who kill must be identified to the public. Yet, the identities of the officers in McDade's case remain private.
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