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FBI will probe police shooting of unarmed college student

By Richard Winton and Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES —The FBI announced Friday it will launch a civil rights inquiry into the shooting death by Pasadena, Calif., police of an unarmed college student.

FBI spokeswoman Lisa Eimiller said the inquiry was launched independently of a call by Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez for the agency to look into the shooting of Kendrec McDade.

“We were well aware of the shooting through the media attention,” Eimiller said.

In a statement, the FBI added: “The FBI is assessing the incident involving the Pasadena Police Department on March 24, 2012, which resulted in the death of Kendrec McDade. The FBI will seek to determine whether a violation of federal civil rights law was a factor.”

McDade was shot by two Pasadena police officers shortly after they took the report of an armed robbery. McDade was a suspect in the robbery, according to police, but was unarmed at the time he died.

The case has set off a strong reaction among civil rights activists and McDade’s relatives, seeking a full explanation of the evening’s events.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation offers another independent level of review,” Sanchez said in a statement.

The department is conducting its own inquiry, as is the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and the Office of Independent Review Group.

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