Lawyer: City 'deflecting' 911 death blame

March 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

PASADENA, Calif., March 22 (UPI) -- A lawyer for a man whose false 911 call played a role in the shooting death of unarmed man says Pasadena, Calif., police are "deflecting" blame onto his client.

Oscar Carrillo, 27, has pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of making a false report of a criminal offense and reporting an emergency knowing the report was false when he called 911 March 24, 2012. Police responding to the call shot and killed Kendrec McDade, an unarmed 19-year-old college student.

An autopsy report concluded one police officer, who said McDade had reached for his waistband, fired four rounds at McDade from a distance of less than 1 foot. A second officer fired four shots -- saying he thought his partner may have been exchanging gunfire with a suspect.

Carrillo has said when he called 911 to report a theft he told authorities the suspect was armed because he thought that might prompt a faster response.

Carrillo is due in court March 26 to face the charges, which could result in 18 months in jail.

His lawyer, Andres Bustamante, told the Pasadena Sun he thinks city officials feel "obligated that [Carrillo] must take some kind or responsibility."

"I think they're deflecting," Bustamante said.

A police department review of the incident, released Wednesday, concluded the officers who shot McDade followed departmental policy, the Sun reported.

Los Angeles County district attorney's office investigators concluded in December the officers "acted in lawful self-defense" because they had "a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury."

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