Community mourns Kendrec McDade
Teen was killed by police officers during what they thought was an armed robbery.
Friends and family members sign in before proceeding to the Metropolitan Baptist Church for Kendrec McDade's funeral, which took place in Pasadena on Saturday. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Staff Photographer / April 7, 2012)
The pews were packed at Metropolitan Baptist Church with people who knew 19-year-old Kendrec McDade. Some wore blue bracelets bearing his name.
Family members wore varying shades of blue, most of it baby blue, the same color as McDade’s jersey when he played football for Azusa High School.
Two Pasadena police officers shot McDade on March 24 after responding to a report of an armed robbery. It was later discovered the 911 caller who said McDade and an accomplice were armed lied about seeing two guns.
Nicole Comas read a letter McDade’s mom, Anya Slaughter, wrote to her son early in the “home-going.” She recalled pivotal moments in his life: first steps, scolding him before his driving test and sending him off to summer camp.
“I cried like a baby as I watched the bus pull away,” she wrote. “Those were the good old days.”
A weeping Slaughter sat feet away from her son’s white casket, which was surrounded by white and blue flowers, as well as his jersey with the number 18 on it.
“I want you to know how proud I am of the man you grew up to be,” Slaughter said. “It’s a shame this has happened because of someone else’s senseless act.”
His sister, Kristine McDade, also spoke.
“I love Kendrec so much. I will never stop crying for him to come back,” she said. “I’ll always call his name even though he’s not here, but he’s kind of here.”
Some people remembered McDade as a quiet student, whose personality came out when he took to the field.
Joe Brown, president of the Pasadena chapter of the NAACP, said the community has to come together as the investigation into McDade’s shooting moves forward.
“Now the curtain falls on yet another senseless officer-involved shooting,” Brown said. “Kendrec, I believe, would say you’ve got the ball now. Now it’s up to us to take it to the next level.”
Brown said his organization is committed to making sure Pasadena officials are transparent and held accountable.
Pastor Dorothy Evans said now is not the time to get political.
“We don’t have a race problem in Pasadena; we might have some issues, but we are all right,” Evans said.
Pastor John Bledsoe said McDade’s shooting has brought community organizations, churches and residents in the San Gabriel Valley together.
“We need to be proactive rather than reactive,” Bledsoe said. “I’m hopeful that we as a community can be more proactive and help the people in our