Black man shot dead just af­ter po­lice ar­rived

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - STATE - As­so­ci­ated Press

EL CAJON (AP) – Po­lice in the San Diego sub­urb of El Cajon shot and killed a black man a minute af­ter ar­riv­ing near a strip mall to in­ves­ti­gate a re­port of a men­tally un­sta­ble per­son walk­ing in and out of traf­fic, an of­fi­cial said Wednes­day.

El Cajon Po­lice De­part­ment spokesman Lt. Rob Ran­sweiler said two of­fi­cers ar­rived at the scene at about 2:10 p.m. Tues­day. Ran­sweiler says the shoot­ing hap­pened at 2:11 p.m.

He said po­lice re­ceived the re­port about the men­tally un­sta­ble per­son at 12:57 p.m. but did not im­me­di­ately re­spond be­cause they had other calls for ser­vice.

Po­lice have said the man re­fused to com­ply with in­struc­tions to re­move a hand from his pants pocket, paced back and forth, then rapidly drew an ob­ject from the pocket, placed both hands to­gether and ex­tended them in a “shoot­ing stance.” The of­fi­cers si­mul­ta­ne­ously fired a hand­gun and an elec­tric stun gun.

The vic­tim was iden­ti­fied as Al­fred Olango, a refugee from Uganda, as dozens of demon­stra­tors protest­ing his killing gath­ered out­side the po­lice sta­tion in El Cajon, hold­ing signs that read “No Killer Cops!” and chant­ing “no jus­tice, no peace,” and “black lives mat­ter.”

Agnes Has­san, orig­i­nally from Su­dan, de­scribed Olango as an ed­u­cated man with men­tal prob­lems. She said she spent time in a refugee camp with Olango and that both of them suf­fered get­ting to the United States.

The man died af­ter one El Cajon of­fi­cer fired an elec­tronic stun gun and an­other of­fi­cer si­mul­ta­ne­ously fired his firearm sev­eral times, El Cajon Po­lice Chief Jeff Davis told re­porters at a news con­fer­ence late Tues­day night. Davis did not de­scribe the ob­ject, but he ac­knowl­edged it was not a weapon.

Christo­pher Rice-Wil­son, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of the civil rights group Al­liance San Diego, ques­tioned why one of the of­fi­cers felt non-lethal force was ap­pro­pri­ate while the other did not. Both of­fi­cers have been put on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave while the in­ci­dent is in­ves­ti­gated, per de­part­ment pol­icy.

Rice-Wil­son was among those who iden­ti­fied Olango on Wednes­day. Po­lice Lt. Rob Ran­sweiler said he could not con­firm the vic­tim’s name but said he was in his 30s and be­lieved to be from Uganda.

Some pro­test­ers said Tues­day night that Olango was shot while his hands were raised in the air. Po­lice dis­puted that and pro­duced a frame from a cell­phone video taken by a wit­ness that ap­peared to show the man in the “shoot­ing stance” as two of­fi­cers ap­proached with weapons drawn at a strip mall.

The fa­tal shoot­ing hap­pened just weeks af­ter black men were shot and killed by po­lice in Tulsa, Okla., and in Char­lotte, N.C., where vi­o­lent protests broke out.

Can­dles and flow­ers were left Wednes­day at the shoot­ing scene, near blood­stains on the pave­ment.

Olango of­ten hung around the strip mall and at times seemed “ag­i­tated but he was never ag­gres­sive to­ward me,” said Vin­cent Hauer, who works at a nearby con­ve­nience store and some- times bought the man food or gave him a few dol­lars.

Davis urged the com­mu­nity to re­main calm and said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be thor­ough.

“This will be trans­par­ent,” he said. “This will be looked at by mul­ti­ple sets of eyes, and not just ours.”

Po­lice said they were called to the strip mall shortly af­ter 2 p.m. by the vic­tim’s sis­ter, who said he was “not act­ing like him­self” and walk­ing in traf­fic. The man re­fused “mul­ti­ple” or­ders to take his hand from his pocket, then was shot af­ter pulling out the ob­ject that au­thor­i­ties de­clined to de­scribe, po­lice said.

When de­tec­tives ar­rived, po­lice say a fe­male wit­ness came for­ward and vol­un­tar­ily pro­vided cell­phone video of the in­ci­dent. Au­thor­i­ties re­leased the sin­gle frame from it but not the video. El Cajon of­fi­cers do not wear body cam­eras.

Peo­ple hold signs dur­ing a protest in front of the El Cajon Po­lice De­part­ment on Wednes­day in El Cajon.

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