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Caree Hamer SBN 219048
LAW OFFICES OF CAREE HARPER
468 N. Camden Drive Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 281-0063 Tel.
EmaIl: inyourdefense@aol.com
Attorney for Plaintiffs
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
IN AND FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
KENNETH
ANYA SLAUGHTER,
andTHEESTATEOFKENDREC
McDADE
Plaintiffs,
vs.
CITY OF PASADENA, PASADENA
POLICE CHIEF PHILLIP SANCHEZ,
OFFICER MATTHEW GRIFFIN #3135,
OFFICER JEFFREY NEWLEN
#6113, & DET. KEITH GOMEZ #3196,
individually and in their official capacity
and DOES 1-10 inclusive,
cV 0289 2.
Case No.: CV .
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
1. WRONGFULDEATHI
Violation of Civil Rights
(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
2. UNLAW:FUL CUSTOM"
PRACTICES & POLICIES
(42 U.S.C. § 1983)
3. WRONGFUL DEATH!
Negligence
4. RALPH CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
(CA. Civil Code § 51.7)
*JURY TRIAL DEMAND*
Defendants.
III
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Plaintiffs allege:
I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. Jurisdiction is vested in this Court under 28 U.S.C. '§.1343 (3)(4) for
the violation ofthe 1971 Civil Rights Enforcement Act, as amended, including 42
U.S.C Sections 1983,1331 and 1367 (a).
2. Venue is proper in Central District of California and the County of
Los Angeles under 28U.S.C. .§.1391 (b).
II. ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
This action at law for money damages arises under Title 42 U.S.C.
Sections, 1983 and 1988 and the United States Constitution, the laws of the Stat
of California and common law principles to redress a deprivation under color 0
state law of rights, privileges and immunities secured to plaintiffs by said statutes
and by the Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
III. PARTIES
1. At all times herein mentioned, Plaintiffs KENNETH McDADE and
ANYA SLAUGHTER were and are residents of the United States, residing in the
County of Los Angeles, State of California. Plaintiff ANYA SLAUGHTER is the
natural mother of decedent KENDREC McDADE. Plaintiff KENNETH
McDADE is the decedent's natural father. Plaintiffs McDade and Slaugther are
the only heirs of the decedent. All plaintiffs are African American.
2. Defendant CITy OF PASADENA (hereinafter "CITY") is
responsible for the actions of its employees, officials, and officers. The
PASADENA POLICE DEPARTMENT (hereinafter "PPD") is a subdivision of the
CITY OF PASADENA. The CITY is sued in its own right and on the basis of the
acts of its officials, agents, employees, and officers at all times were sworn police
officers in City ofPasadena.
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3. Defendant CHIEF PHILLIP SANCHEZ, was and is at all relevant times
the Chief of the Pasadena Police Department and a sworn police officer with
supervising and policy-making authority at the Pasadena Police Department.
4. Defendant, OFFICER JEFFREY NEWLAN, a Caucasian male, is and
at all relevant times was a sworn police officer at the Pasadena Police Department.
5. Defendant, OFFICER MATTHEW GRIFFIN, a Caucasian male, is
and at all relevant t i m ~ s was a sworn police officer at the Pasadena Police
Department.
6. Defendant, OFFICER KEITH GOMEZ, a Caucasian male, is and at
all relevant times was a sworn police officer at the Pasadena Police Department.
7. At all times herein mentioned, DOES 1 through 10 were and now are,
duly appointed and acting PASADENA POLICE OFFICERS in the employ of the
PASADENA POLICE DEPARTMENT. In doing the acts h(;reafter described,
defendants, each of them, were acting in their capacity as officers of the defendant
CITY and in doing the acts hereinafter described, acted within the course and
scope of their employment.
8. Plaintiffs are ignorant as to the true names of the DOE defendants.
Once plaintiffs learn the names of the DOE defendants, they will seek leave to
amend this Complaint to identify the DOE defendants. Each of the DOE
defendants are sued in their individual and official capacities.
9. Each of the acts complained of herein was taken, and each violation of
plaintiffs' rights occurred, pursuant to the policies, practices and! or customs of the
PASADENA POLICE DEPARTMENT, each act complained of was approved,
condoned and/ or ratified by persons of authority with the defendant CITY and
Defendant Chief Sanchez.
10. In doing each of the violations of law complained ofherein
defendants, their agents and employees, were acting under color of law. The acts
complained of were willful, wanton, malicious and displayed a conscious disregard
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of, and in deliberate indifference to plaintiffs' constitutional rights.
IV. STATEMENT OF FACTS
BACKGROUND RELATIVE TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION.
11. On February 19,2009, Leroy Barnes Jr. was shot and killed by
Pasadena Police o f f i c ~ r s . Barnes was shot 11 times and most ofthe bullets entered
his back. Barnes died at the scene without any emergency CPR being administered
by police. Police initially told the media that Barnes had fired at them first, but
this false version of events was revised a few days later by police spokesmen. At
that time the former Chief held press conferences and said that Barnes fired at least
one shot at the officers, who then returned fire, however, that was not true either,
as police were later forced to admit. There, the OIR Group report, dated October
2009, was entitled Report to the City ofPasadena Concerning the Officer-
Involved Shooting ofLeroy Barnes, Jr., was prepared by Michael Gennaco &
Robert Miller. That committee recommended better training of officers and better
communication with the community. In 2010, the Los Angeles County District
Attorney's Office concluded that the shooting by the officers was lawful self-
defense. These are the same entities DEFENDANT CIDEF SANCHEZ proposes
to use in this case.
12. In 2006, a number ofPasadena Police officers beat a young Black
male named Damian Esteem in front of his two young children who were watching
and screaming "please stop hurting my daddy". This excessive use of force
occurred after police executed a search warrant at the wrong address. Mr.
Esteem's questioning ofthe officers early morning presence was met with his face
being slammed into the' pavement while he was handcuffed. Police even pointed
handguns at his small children during the incident. Esteem was not convicted of
the red-herring "battery on an officer" charge and was later successful in a federal
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civil rights action against the officers for that incident.
13. In 2005: several Black male teens dubbed as the "El Sereno 3" were
merely standing on a sidewalk in broad daylight when Pasadena Police detained
them for .... standing on the sidewalk. One teen, Michael Miller, was body
slammed into the pavement for questioning the purpose oftheir detention as
oppose to "assuming the position" without question. His brother was severely
beaten at the scene and his mother was pushed to the ground after trying to keep
the police from killing her child. Multiple residents called 911 and requested
watch commanders return the call because they witnessed the police beat the teens.
The watch commander never returned the call. One of the "El Sereno 3" was
charged with the red-herring "attempt murder on an officer" in order to scare him
into a plea deal. The teens required major medical attention and the allegedly
almost murdered officers who only had scratches to their fists from beating the
teens. All criminal charges were ultimately dismissed against Mr. Miller after a
trial. Mr. Miller addressed this injustice with a federal civil rights lawsuit that
resulted in the parties settling after five years and subsequent unrelenting
harassment from officers of the Pasadena Police Department.
14. At least two of the above-referenced matters involved DEFENDANT
DET. KEITH GOMEZ as the "victim" in the police report. Here, DEFENDANT
OFFICERS GRIFFIN and NEWLEN are listed as "victims".
15. GOMEZ has been directly responsible for multiple controversial
killings of young Black men in Pasadena yet GOMEZ was the DEFENDANT
CHIEF'S choice to investigate this controversial officer involved shooting. This
was not a "split second decision" this was an intentional selection ofDET.
GOMEZ to investigate and this reeks of a cover-up.
16. On March 24, 2012, an alleged robbery and car burglary occurred
near a taco stand on Orrange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena. This call was reported to a
911 dispatcher by Oscar Carrillo.
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17. This taco stand is a popular gathering place for teens.
18. On March 26
th
at 11 :00 A.M, DEFENDANT DET. GOMEZ took the
statement ofthe 911 caller, Oscar Carrillo. Carrillo told G O ~ v l E Z , that he told PPD
dispatchers the suspects were anned with guns because he was mad at the suspects
and nervous. Also, he believed the false statements regarding the firearms would
generate a quicker response from police personnel. DEFENDANT GOMEZ
retrieved and retained infonnation from Carrillo that he had a grudge against the
minor with Kendrec, but did not know Kendrec. DEFENDANT GOMEZ did not
arrest Carrillo for the felony committed in his presence nor did he request the
District Attorney press charges. DEFENDANT CHIEF SANCHEZ condoned,
ratified and aided in this cover up for two days until 2 hours after plaintiffs'
counsel held a press conference and revealed the lie the 911 caller told dispatchers
and called for the Civil Rights Division ofthe U.S. Department of Justice take over
the case. With each press conference DEFENDANT SANCHEZ vilifies
KENDREC McDADE all the while knowing Mr. McDade did not engage in a
felony that evening.
19. In accordance with PPD's pattern and practice of covering up
excessive force, DEFENDANT SANCHEZ, who is a policy-maker, has put the
dead victim on trial and spun multiple accounts of what occurred on March 24,
2012, exacerbating the emotional distress of the Plaintiffs.
PASADENA POLICE ACCOUNTING OF INCIDENT
20. Pasadena Police Officer Solorzano responded to the area after hearing
the radio call. As Solorzano responded he heard Officer Newlen broadcast he was
in foot pursuit with a suspect. Solorzano drove southbound on Fair Oaks Ave.
toward Orange Grove Blvd. and saw a black male walking west on the north cross
walk of Orange Grove Blvd. and Fair Oaks Ave. The minor was wearing a black
T-shirt, dark jeans and a cap. Solorzano made contact with the minor and they
conversed. Solorzano then heard four shots in the area and the minor immediately
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dove to the ground for cover. Solorzano could not tell where the shots were
coming from and asked the minor if he could tell. Solorzano then heard
DEFENDANT NEWLEN broadcast "shots fired" at Sunset Ave. north of Orange
Grove Blvd. Solorzano responded to Defendants NEWLEN and GRIFFIN's
location and saw a black male lying in the middle of Sunset Ave. with multiple
gunshots to his upper torso. Officer Reinbold was also on scene. Solorzano began
to secure the scene and saw "the minor" standing on the northwest comer of
Orange Grove Blvd. and Sunset Ave. The minor looked at him and asked "Did
they shoot him?" Solorzano believed the minor looked overly concerned, and
because he was wearing dark clothing Solorzano handcuffed the minor and placed
him in his patrol unit. A field show up was conducted, but Carillo could NOT
identify "the minor" as having been involved in the incident. According to a
witness at the taco stand, they did not see a crime occur, nor did they suffer a loss.
The taco stand is ~ listed as a victim in the police report. The only "victims"
listed in the report ate Carrillo, who was later charged wHh involuntary
manslaughter for lying about an armed robbery, and the officers who shot
and killed Kendrec McDade. To date, the minor remains in custody based on
charges stemming from Carrillo's alleged loss allegedly in excess of$950.00. Th
minor was initially charged with murder for the death of his friend.
21. According to Officer Solorzano, Carrillo's first description of the
alleged suspects was that the first man was wearing a black hooded sweat shirt
with a zipper ("the Minor"), and the second (Kendrec McDade) was wearing a
black beanie and black hooded sweat shirt and black jeans. Carrillo ignored police
instruction not to pursue two armed men who allegedly just robbed him at
gunpoint.
III
III
II
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THE SHOOTING
22. The 911 call by Carrillo was internally inconsistent, suspicious and
ultimately felonious. However, Officers GRIFFIN and NEWLEN responded and
independently made their own decision to shoot Kendrec. Neither officers nor
witnesses saw anything in Kendrec McDade's hands, no bulges in his closely fitted
sweater, no bulges to his waistband and no shiny objects- or objects at all. Neither
officers yelled any commands to identify themselves that evening; and they did not
have lights and sirens On to alert Kendrec that the Defendant officers were the
police and that they were attempting to make a lawful detention.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:
(VIOLATION OF FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS - EXCESSIVE FORCE,
CONSPIRACY, DUE PROCESS, 4
th
AM.
42 U.S.C. § 1983)
(Against Individual Defendants and Does 1-10)
23. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference the foregoing
paragraphs of this complaint as if set forth in full to this point.
24. This action at law for money damages arises under Title 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the United States Constitution, the laws of the State of California and
common law principles to redress a deprivation under color of state law of rights,
privileges and immunities secured to Plaintiff by said statutes, and by the United
States Constitution.
25. Commencing at or about the aforementioned date and place,
defendants GRIFFIN and NEWLEN, without lawful cause or justification, and
acting under color of law, intentionally and maliciously seized plaintiffs' decedent
KENDREC McDADE, causing his death.
26. Plaintiffs believe and assert that DEFENDANT GRIFFIN shot
multiple rounds from inside his vehicle, and DEFENDANT NEWLEN shot
multiple rounds from a nearby standing position. Witness accounts reflect that
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Kendrec did not die immediately. After being shot multiple times in the chest,
witnesses said Kendrec tried to talk with officers. Officers handcuffed Kendrec
and he began to "twitch". Officers left Kendrec in the street for a protracted period
of time without administering first aid and he died at the hospital. One witness
heard an officer yell "motherfucker" after the shooting. All individual defendants
conspired to suppress these facts.
27. Each ofthe individual defendants acted in concert, acted without
authorization oflaw, and each of the individual defendants, separately and in
concert, acted willfully, knowingly and with reckless disregard and deliberate
indifference to the known consequences of their acts and omissions and
purposefully with the intent to deprive plaintiffs of their federally protected rights
and privileges and did, in fact, violate those rights and privileges, entitling
plaintiffs to punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial.
28. As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned acts,
omissions, customs and practices ofthe defendants, plaintiffs have suffered great
mental and physical pain, suffering, anguish, fright, nervousness, anxiety, grief,
shock, humiliation, indignity, and embarrassment.
29. As a proximate result of the aforementioned conduct of defendants,
and each of them, plaintiffs sustained sever emotional injuries and requires
emotional treatment, and has incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses
for said therapy in an amount according to proof at trial.
30. The aforementioned acts and omissions of Defendants were
committed by each of them knowingly, willfully and maliciously, with the intent to
harm, injure, vex, harass and oppress plaintiffs with conscious disregard of
plaintiffs' constitutional rights and by reason thereof, plaintiffs seek punitive and
exemplary damages from Defendants, and each of them, in an amount to be proven
at trial.
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\
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31. As a direct and proximate result of the foregoing, plaintiffs' have been
damaged as recited above and demands and is entitled to the damages, including,
but not limited to, general and punitive damages and attorney's fees.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION:
MONELL ALLEGATIONS
(Against Defendant COUNTY & CHIEF SANCHEZ)
32. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference, as though fully set
forth herein, the allegations contained in paragraphs above.
33. Prior to March 24, 2012, the DEFENDANT CITY developed and
maintained policies or customs exhibiting deliberate indifference to the
constitutional rights ofBlack males which caused the violation of the plaintiffs'
rights. Specifically, the DEFENDANT CHIEF continues to vilify Kendrec as a
felon engaged in a felony that evening to distract from the undeniable fact that his
officers killed and unarmed man. His officers police report are internally
inconsistent and unbelievable. CHIEF SANCHEZ look Plaintiff SLAUGHTER
the truth, yet he perpetrates the remarkably unbelievale story that Kendrec ran
toward the police car and GRIFFIN could not get out quick enough while
KENDREC approached holding his waistband GRIFFIN shot through the drivers
side window while seated in his patrol car while fearing for his safety. It's a
practice ofthe City and its policymakers not to address relevant question like: Why
weren't the patrol units video-recorders activated to capture the video and audio of
the incident
34. Witness accounts said there were no commands such as: "stop",
"halt", "police", "let me see your hands". And the police reports do not say these
orders were ever given to Kendrec McDade before he was gunned down. Instead
of doing any real investigations the policy and practice at PPD is to quash the
community uproar with uninformative political style town hall meetings; divide
and conquer concerned community groups by calling said meetings at or near tJ1e
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same time as NAACP events.
35. The defendant CITY and CHIEF was and is aware of the propensity t
use racial profiling as probable cause for detention and subsequent racial profiling.
36. It was the policy and/or custom ofthe CITY to inadequately and
improperly investigate citizen complaints of police misconduct, and acts of
misconduct were instead tolerated by the CITY.
37. It was the policy and/ or custom of the CITY to inadequately
supervise and train its officers, including the defendant officers, thereby
failing to discourage further constitutional violations on the part of their officers.
The CITY did not require appropriate in-service training or retraining of deputies
who were known to have engaged in police misconduct.
38. As a result ofthe above described policies and customs officers,
including the defendant officers, believed that their actions would be ignored,
approved and ratified properly monitored by supervisors and that misconduct and
excessive force would not be investigated or sanctioned, but would be tolerated.
39. The above-mentioned policies and customs demonstrated a deliberate
indifference on the part ofpolicymakers ofthe CITY to the constitutional right of
persons within the CITY, specifically African American males, and were the cause
of the violations ofthe plaintiffs' rights alleged herein.
III
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III
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THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
WRONGFUL DEATH CCP § 377.10(b) against CITY, GRIFFIN, NEWLAN
and DOES 1-10 individually
40. Plaintiffs refer to and replead each and every allegation contained i
the paragraphs above, and by this reference incorporates the same herein an
makes each a part hereof.
41. On or about April 2, 2012, plaintiffs timely filed their claim
damages with the Pasadena City Clerk. pursuant to Govt Code Section 910.
42. Plaintiffs bring this action for wrongful death pursuant
provisions of Code of Civil Procedure § 377 (b) in that, at the time of Decedent'
death, Plaintiffs were Decedent's heirs according to the provision of Part 1 0
Division 6 of the Probate Code, and also pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §
377 (b) as the intestate successors in interest to the estate of decedent.
43. At or about the aforementioned time, date and place, Defendant
intentionally, negligently and recklessly assaulted, battered and shot KENDRE
McDADE to death thereby depriving decedent of his life without due process 0
law in violation of his Constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteen
Amendments.
44. On and for some time before March 24, 2012, Defendant CITY, an
DOES 1-10, inclusive, and each of them, negligently and carelessly employed
retained, trained, supervised, assigned, controlled and negligently and carelessl
failed to adequately discipline Defendants GRIFFIN and NEWLEN, and each 0
them, at all times material herein knew or reasonably should have known ha
dangerous and dishonest propensities for abusing their authority and for usin
excessive and punitive force and violence and for falsifying their accounts an
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reports of their actions, especially where unreasonable force was used by sai
Defendants.
45. By reason of the aforesaid acts and omISSIOns of Defendants
Plaintiffs have been and will forever be deprived of the love, affection, society
companionship, support and pecuniary benefits of Decedent, all to Plaintiff
damages in the sum of according to proof.
46. The aforesaid acts and omissions of Defendants were done knowingly
intentionally and for the purpose of depriving Decedent of his life and civil right
in reckless and callous disregard of the same, and by reason thereof, plaintiff
claim exemplary and punitive damages in an amount according to proof.
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION:
VIOLATION OF THE RALPH CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
{Against GRIFFIN and NEWLEN)
47. Plaintiffs restate and incorporate by reference, as though fully set
forth herein, the allegations contained in paragraphs above.
48. On or about the above stated dates, and sometime prior thereto,
Defendants and each ofthem violated Plaintiffs civil rights, guaranteed by the
United States Constitution, federal law, the California Constitution and the laws of
the State of California thereby violating California Civil Code Sections 51.7.
49. As a proximate result of the aforementioned acts of Defendants,
and each of them, Plaintiff suffered damage in a sum according to proof, and is
entitled to the damages, statutory damages, treble damages, attorney's fees and
costs provided for by the Civil Code.
III
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III
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By -------'r--f---+----­
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray for relief as follows:
1. For special and general damages in an amount to be determined at trial
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1988.
2. For compensatory and punitive damages except as to the CITY,
as permitted by law and according to proof at trial;
3. For costs of suit;
4. For attorneys fees;
5. For such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.
Dated: 4/2/12 Respectfully submitted,
By: - - + - + - ' ~ - \ - f - - - l - + - - - - - - -
LAW OFFICE&'QF C .
i
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiffs hereby demand a trial by jury as to all issues and claims for relief.
Dated: 4/2/12
Respectfully submitted,
LAW OFFICES
CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES - 14

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