Suburban Los Angeles police officers are urging prosecutors to charge a man with involuntary manslaughter charges after his false robbery charges caused police to shoot and kill an unarmed black male college student.
Oscar Carrillo called 911 after he said his laptop and backpack had been stolen by two men with guns in Pasadena, Calif., an upscale suburb straddling the edge of Los Angeles.
Authorities said the call led two police officers, one on foot and one in a car, to shoot Kendrec McDade, a 19-year-old college student. They said he reached for his waistband, which seemed to confirm the caller’s report of a man with a gun.
The problem? Carillo’s claim that the two black men had guns was false. As in the case with Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., both deaths involve black teens with no weapons on them.
The juvenile with McDade was charged with two counts of commercial burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failure to register as a gang member as a condition of his probation.
Police said the teens matched descriptions provided by Carrillo, witnesses and surveillance footage. When McDade was approached, he reportedly reached for his waistband and officers opened fire because they thought he was armed.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter against Carrillo would be possibly unprecedented for making a false 911 call. Carrillo apparently was a robbery victim but he embellished the report by mentioning guns in order to get police to respond quickly.
Los Angeles district attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Monday they are still in the evidence-gathering phase.
“We have not filed a case pending further investigation and we are doing legal research,” she said.
Meanwhile, the false caller has even more problems. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the agency had lodged an immigration detainer against Carrillo because a check of ICE’s databases revealed that Carrillo was previously removed from the United States to Mexico in April 2006.
In a statement, ICE said it makes it a priority to detain and deport “individuals who exploit our immigration system, such as immigration fugitives and others who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the United States.”