Po­lice show videos of fa­tal shoot­ing of black man

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Julie Wat­son and El­liot Spagat The As­so­ci­ated Press

EL CA­JON, CALIF. >> Po­lice re­leased two videos Fri­day show­ing an of­fi­cer fa­tally shoot­ing an un­armed black man in a San Diego sub­urb and said they hoped show­ing the footage would ease es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions.

The videos show the of­fi­cer fired four times at close range al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter Al­fred Olango, 38, sud­denly raised both hands to ch­est level and took what was de­scribed as a shoot­ing stance.

The shots came less than a minute af­ter po­lice ar­rived at the scene in re­sponse to Olango’s sis­ter call­ing 911 and re­port­ing he was act­ing er­rat­i­cally.

The videos were re­leased af­ter three nights of un­ruly and, at times, vi­o­lent protests in El Ca­jon, and on the eve of a large demonstration or­ga­nized by clergy and sup­port­ers of Olango’s fam­ily, who had pres­sured au­thor­i­ties to show the footage of the fa­tal en­counter. On Thurs­day night, an of­fi­cer was struck in the head by a brick hurled by a pro­tester.

“Our only con­cern at this point was com­mu­nity safety,” El Ca­jon Po­lice Chief Jeff Davis said. “We felt that the ag­gres­sion of some — some — of the pro­test­ers was es­ca­lat­ing to the point where it was nec­es­sary to re­lease some in­for­ma­tion and truly, it was my hope to re­lieve some of that con­cern.”

In ad­di­tion to the videos, po­lice showed the 4-inch elec­tronic cig­a­rette de­vice Olango had in his hands when he was shot.

A lawyer for the fam­ily said they wel­comed the re­lease of the videos, but ques­tioned the tac­tics used by Of­fi­cer Richard Gon­salves. Olango had been re­ported to be men­tally dis­turbed and un­armed and yet Gon­salves ap­proached with his weapon out, Dan Gilleon said.

“It shows a cow­boy with his gun drawn pro­vok­ing a men­tally dis­turbed per­son,” Gilleon said.

The in­ci­dent is the lat­est in a series of fa­tal shoot­ings of black men that have roiled com­mu­ni­ties across the U.S. It came weeks af­ter fa­tal shoot­ings by po­lice in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, and Char­lotte, North Carolina.

Olango, a Ugan­dan refugee who ar­rived in the U.S. as a boy, had a crim­i­nal record that in­cluded drug and weapon charges but no vi­o­lence. His fam­ily de­scribed him as a lov­ing fa­ther and a joy­ful, happy per­son.

His mother said he suf­fered a men­tal break­down re­cently af­ter the death of his best friend. On Tues­day, his sis­ter called 911 and re­ported he was act­ing strangely and walk­ing into traf­fic by a strip mall.

The longer of the two videos re­leased by po­lice came from a sur­veil­lance cam­era in the drive-thru of a res­tau­rant. It is roughly a minute, has no sound and po­lice blurred out the heads of ev­ery­one in it.

Olango is seen walk­ing through the park­ing lot and then stop­ping sud­denly as Gon­salves ap­proached, his weapon drawn at his side.

Olango, his right hand in his pants pocket, moved side to side and backed up to­ward a white pickup truck.

As Gon­salves moved in from the front, a sec­ond of­fi­cer, Josh McDaniel, got out of a cruiser and ap­proached from the side.

In the sec­ond video, taken on a cell­phone by a wit­ness in the drive-thru, Olango’s sis­ter is seen ap­proach­ing Gon­salves from be­hind and a woman can be heard scream­ing at Olango to put up his hands and telling po­lice not to shoot.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Au­thor­i­ties watch a video of the shoot­ing scene at a news con­fer­ence on Fri­day in El Ca­jon, Calif, held to address the killing of Al­fred Olango, a Ugan­dan refugee shot by an El Ca­jon po­lice of­fi­cer on Tues­day.

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