Pasadena

Officer Will Not Face Charges in Killing of Man Who Ran From Police in Pasadena

Pasadena police maintain a gun they recovered nearby was tossed by Anthony McClain as he ran. The city settled with his family members in the fall for $7.5 million

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Nearly two years after Pasadena police fatally shot Anthony McClain as he ran from a traffic stop, LA County District Attorney George Gascón announced he's not filing criminal charges against the officer who killed him.

McClain, 32, was a passenger in a car when he ran away and was shot in the back by police. The vehicle had been pulled over for a missing license plate, police said.

His death in August 2020 prompted protests by family and friends in the streets and at Pasadena City Hall.

In a statement Wednesday, the city of Pasadena said it was notified that the LA County District's Attorney's Office had completed its investigation, and the DA's office "concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove the officer did not act in lawful self-defense."

"The family is disappointed. I'm disappointed," said Caree Harper, the family's attorney, of the announcement Wednesday. "But we're not surprised. This is not something new. We've had cases that were not charged when they feel they should be charged."

The officer who shot McClain, Edwin Dumaguindin, alleged that the man had a handgun in his waistband and he feared McClain would turn and shoot him.

Pasadena police have released body-worn camera video and said McClain was running with the handgun in his possession. Police said forensic testing showed that a gun they recovered nearby had McClain's DNA on it.

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Harper says that, as a passenger at the traffic stop, McClain did nothing wrong in running from officers.

"We as citizens of the USA have a right to not speak to police, not a crime they can clearly articulate," she said. "Don't believe a crime is afoot, don't have a right to detain."

The city of Pasadena said it is reviewing the detailed analysis. It settled in November with McClain's family members for $7.5 million as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.

In the post-George Floyd era, Harper says, the DA was wrong not to bring charges.

"If this had been a white child in Hastings Ranch shot twice in the back by a Black officer? Oh, that Black officer would have been under the jail by the end of the day," she said.

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