Attorneys for the city and local activists will once again argue that a report analyzing events leading up to and following the officer-involved fatal shooting of an African-American teenager should be unsealed.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Court of Appeals in Los Angeles, attorneys are expected to say the Pasadena Police Officer’s Association (PPOA) relinquished the confidentiality rights of two officers after attorneys with the PPOA quoted a portion of the Office of Independent Review Group (OIR) probe into the shooting death of Kendrec McDade in a court brief.
According to that document, the OIR reported that the officers made several tactical errors while pursuing McDade on the evening of March 24, 2012. Local attorney Skip Hickambottom wrote a brief calling on the court to unseal the report. In that motion, Hickambottom contends that the officers gave up their right to confidentiality after their attorneys quoted the very document they have been seeking to suppress.
“Privilege is waived with respect to a communication protected by the privilege if any holder of the privilege, without coercion, has disclosed a significant part of the communication or has consented to disclosure made by anyone on his behalf,” Hickambottom wrote.
McDade was shot and killed by Officers Jeffrey Newlen and Matthew Griffin on Sunset Avenue near Orange Grove Boulevard. The officers began pursuing McDade after they received calls about an armed robbery on Orange Grove, near Summit Avenue, and shot and killed McDade after a brief pursuit.
The officers, who were told McDade was armed, were cleared of wrongdoing by an internal investigation, the US Justice Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Immediately after the shooting, city officials promised transparency in the OIR investigation, but later announced they would not release the report because it contains confidential personnel information about the two officers.
The PPOA later received a temporary injunction barring the release of the report, but Los Angeles Superior Court James Chalfant eventually ordered the city to release a redacted version of the document. However, the PPOA received an emergency injunction from the appellate court in December, preventing that from happening.