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Community Holds Funeral for Football Star Gunned Down By Police

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Photo by PhotoSGVN via Twitter
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Family and friends of Azusa teen Kendrec McDade turned out wearing blue—the color of the football jersey he wore as a star at Azusa High—for his funeral today at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena.

McDade's death at 19 has sparked questions about police conduct and racial profiling in Pasadena. He was shot by police after they received a call from a man falsely alleging that two men had stolen his backpack and laptop at gunpoint. The family has brought a suit against the police department alleging his civil rights were violated, and the Pasadena police, DA, County Office of Independent Review and FBI are all reviewing the case.

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Photo by @_JorelB via Twitter
Pastor Dorothy Evans played down the political questions surrounding his death at the funeral today, according to the Pasadena Sun: We don’t have a race problem in Pasadena; we might have some issues, but we are all right."

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But the questions about the way he died were never far from anyone's mind.

McDade's mom Anya Slaughter spoke at his service and according to the Sun she said, "I want you to know how proud I am of the man you grew up to be. It's a shame this has happened because of someone else’s senseless act."

The community far outside Pasadena has rallied together on behalf of McDade's family. Listeners to radio station KJLH-FM donated at least $2,000 to the Kendrec McDade Memorial Fund, according to the radio station, and at a rally for justice for the Trayvon Martin case, Carson city Councilmember Mike Gipson solicited donations to help bury McDade.

Related:
FBI Opens Investigation Into Pasadena Police's Fatal Shooting of an Unarmed Man
9-1-1 Caller Arrested For Lying About Suspect That Police Later Fatally Shot