Protesters chant 'murder' in police shooting of black man in California
Sep 29 2016 by Marjorie Miles
Protesters yelled "murder" and demanded on Wednesday a federal investigation after an unarmed black man in Southern California was shot and killed, less than two weeks after similar incidents in two other US cities sparked renewed outrage over police brutality.
One of two officers dispatched to the scene had been trained as part of the San Diego County's Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, or PERT, El Cajon police said.
Reverend Shane Harris, president of the local chapter of the National Action Network, was among the protesters demanding police release video of the shooting and calling for a federal investigation of the incident.
The other officer had been trying to subdue the man with a stun gun.
A black man has been shot dead by police in the United States after reportedly being seen walking in and out of traffic.
This time, in El Cajon, Calif., a suburb near San Diego.
Federal court files show he was sentenced to almost four years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun in 2005.
Olango, 38, had a history of run-ins with the law, including selling cocaine, driving drunk and illegally possessing a 9mm semi-automatic handgun when he was arrested in Colorado in 2005 with pot and ecstasy in his auto, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to 46 months in prison. On Sept. 16, police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed.
El Cajon's mayor identified one of the two officers Wednesday as Richard Gonsalves, a 21-year veteran of the force. Police released a still photo from the shooting (see below), but have thus far resisted calls to release the full citizen cell phone video they took the frame from.
Mayor Bill Wells said he was concerned how quickly the shooting took place, though he said video taken by a bystander was enlightening and he didn't think it was "tremendously complicated to figure out what happened".
But Wells says none were available, so the two officers were sent instead.
Olango is a refugee from Uganda.
The family settled in San Diego, where Olango would go on to receive his GED, get married and start a family.
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At one point, Olango "rapidly drew an object from his front trousers pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer, taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance", police said Tuesday.
El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis said on Wednesday that it was "a time for calm", adding: "I implore the community to be patient with us, work with us, look at the facts at hand before making any judgment". Officers arrived at a parking lot next to a Mexican fast-food restaurant at about 2:10 p.m. and the man was shot about a minute later.
He says police received the report about the mentally unstable person at 12:57 p.m.
"You guys came and killed my brother", the woman wails in the video that had been viewed more than 110,000 times by Wednesday afternoon.
Police say the man refused to obey their instructions to take his hand out of his trouser pocket, paced back and forth before rapidly drawing an object from his pocket.
According to the police statement, the second officer fired several times. She shrieked and and cried, telling officers that she had called them to help her brother, who she described as mentally ill. The woman, who is not identified by name, has told reporters that her brother was walking in traffic.
Christopher Rice-Wilson 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.
As candles and flowers were laid at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday, Mr Olango's cousin Anthony Williams paid tribute.
Dozens of people have peacefully protested the fatal shooting of a black man by police in a San Diego suburb.
Following the shooting, several people gathered at the scene Tuesday night chanting "black lives matter" and "hands up, don't shoot".
Police had been called to the scene by Olango's sister, who claims he was having a mental health issue.
Police say he ignored commands and pulled an object from a pocket and pointed it in a "shooting stance". Police didn't disclose the object the man was holding, but no firearm was found.
Speakers at the demonstration included pastors who said they had spoken to the man's relatives.