Breaking News!!: El Cajon, CA: Protest and outrage over fatal shooting by law enforcement of an African American man with a vape smoking device.
A large crowd of people are protesting in El Cajon, California after new information was released on a fatal shooting by law enforcement of an African American man stating that the object drew from the African American man’s pant pocket and pointed at the law enforcement officers was a “vape smoking device”.
The fatal shooting by law enforcement of an African American man occurred on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016.
According to the El Cajon Police Department, just after 1:00pm PT, officers approached 38 year old Alfred Olango in the parking lot of the Broadway Village Shopping Center on Broadway in El Cajon, California after his sister called authorities to ask for help because her brother was “not acting like himself.”
The El Cajon Police Department said Alfred Olango was walking in and out of traffic acting “erratically.”
** Picture from NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7: **
According to the El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis, the officers who approached Alfred Olango told him to take his hands out of the pockets of his pants, but he allegedly “refused multiple instructions by the first officer on the scene” and kept his hands in his pockets.
El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis said that the man then pulled an object from his pocket and pointed it at officers, assuming a “shooting stance”.
The El Cajon Police Department said one of the officers deployed a Taser on the man, while the other officer fired multiple rounds, striking and killing him.
The man was later sent to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The El Cajon Police Department confirmed that their officers obtained video of the incident captured on a cell phone by an employee at a nearby taco shop.
According to the El Cajon Police Department, the witness voluntarily turned that video over to investigators.
El Cajon Police Department Officers are not currently outfitted with body-worn cameras.
** Picture from the El Cajon Police Department: **
From that clip shot by a bystander, the El Cajon Police Department released a still picture that they said shows why Alfred Olango appeared to be a threat to officers.
Later Tuesday, the El Cajon Police Department were asked what was the object the man was holding and pointing, but wouldn’t provide information on what was that object.
But, as of 6:14pm PT on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016, the question of what was the object Alfred Olango was holding and point was released in a press release from the El Cajon Police Department.
According to a press release from the El Cajon Police Department, “the object that Mr. Olango drew from his pant pocket and pointed at the officer is a vape smoking device. The vape has an all silver cylinder (Smok TFV4 MINI) that is approximately 1” diameter and 3” long that was pointed toward the officer. The box of the vape that was held in his grip, is 4” x 2 1/4”s x 1” (Pioneer for You Vape). The vape was collected as evidence from the scene.”
** Press Release: City of El Cajon: El Cajon Police Department: **
The press release from the El Cajon Police Department also talks about the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT).
“There have been several questions about the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT). The El Cajon Police Department does have an agreement with Community Research Foundation / PERT which allows certified licensed clinicians to partner with police officers in the field in order to provide direct support for mental health calls. On 9/27/16, during the hours of this incident, there was a PERT clinician with a police officer. At the specific time of this incident, that team was on a different radio call that was also PERT related. They were not immediately available,” said in the press release from the El Cajon Police Department.
According to the El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis, the 2 officers involved in the fatal shooting each have 21 years of service as police officers.
Per standard department policy, both officers have been placed on leave, as the investigation is ongoing.
The deadly officer involved shooting sparked uproar in the community amid racial tensions across the nation stemming from many other deadly shootings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers, including the recent killing of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.
** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7: **
Wednesday afternoon, protests began in the streets of El Cajon, California putting law enforcement on high alert.
Because of the protest, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, California temporarily closed their doors.
According to a statement posted on their Facebook page, Parkway Plaza said, “By request of local authorities and out of an abundance of caution, Parkway Plaza will be temporarily closed due to demonstrations in the area. We will let you know when we are scheduled to reopen.”
According to the El Cajon Police Department, Parkway Plaza chose to close on its own and law enforcement are not actively evacuating patrons.
** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7: **
Tonight, swarm of people are in the streets near the site of the fatal shooting, prompting an intensified law enforcement presence as crowds took to the street.
— Omari Fleming (@OmariNBCSD) September 29, 2016
** Video from Omari Fleming (@OmariNBCSD) and NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7: **
Several hundred of people are seen in the streets, walking southbound on Valentin against traffic as they began chanting and screaming, “No justice, no peace,” and holding “Black Lives Matters” signs as police in riot gear blocked off some streets.
At this moment, the protests have been peaceful.
** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7: **
Earlier on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016, community advocates, community organizations, and church leaders gather for a rally regarding the fatal shooting.
Rev. Shane Harris, of the National Action Network San Diego, said the picture released by the El Cajon Police Department does not reveal the full story of what transpired between officers and Alfred Olango.
Other speakers at the rally said the release of the single photo only serves to “shape the narrative” of law enforcement.
“The nation’s eyes are watching us. America’s Finest City – it ain’t looking so fine right now,” said Rev. Shane Harris.
Rev. Shane Harris said that he’s been in contact with Alfred Olango’s family and they plan to seek a federal investigation into the deadly police shooting.
“We do not trust local prosecutors to investigate local police. You won’t have no peace until we get justice. We will not sit down and shut up!” said Rev. Shane Harris.
Agnes Hassan, a woman from Sudan who was friends with Alfred Olango, spoke briefly at the end of the rally and said Alfred Olango was a refugee from Uganda and emigrated to the United States of America in 1991 when he was 12 years old.
They both moved to El Cajon, California in search of a better life and future for their families.
With tears in her eyes, Agnes Hassan said, “We suffer too much – there was a war in Africa, to suffer again? If somebody has mental problem, how can you not deal with him with a mental problem? This is not right. My heart is just broken.”
Along with community advocates, community organizations, and church leaders at the rally, longtime El Cajon, California resident Eddie Price attended the rally.
Eddie Price tells NBC affiliate KNSD Channel 7, “I’ve been a black man for 56 years. The feelings that I’m feeling are not new,” saying that he’s been targeted by police his entire life for the color of his skin.
“I’m armed right now. I’m armed with the melanin in my skin and information in my mind. I’m armed and dangerous. That’s what I feel like, every time I see the police, I feel like I’m already armed and dangerous and I’m a suspect already. That’s no way to live,” Eddie Price explained.
Eddie Price tells NBC San Diego News that also demanded justice in this case.
“We don’t want you to look at us like us. We want you to look at us like you. We want morals and humanity back in this society. I’m tired of walking around like I’m a target. We need some action. Feel something,’ said Eddie Price.
Eddie Price, along with other speakers, called for the news media to support the black community.
Referring to the police, Eddie Price tells NBC San Diego News, “It’s not just us against them. This goes into the morality of humanity. Everybody ought to be conflicted about this. Imagine if this was you.”
The rally was peaceful, but the rally became heated for a moment when Armand King, leader of the Paving Brighter Futures organization, stepped up to the podium.
“They murdered somebody last night. Somebody’s at home right now with their family, and someone is dead now. This is just wrong,” said Armand King.
The crowd began chanting, “Murder! Murder!” and at that moment, a man in the crowd heckled Armand King and he was shaken.
According to Christopher Rice-Wilson, the Associate Director of the Alliance for San Diego and who led the rally, said to NBC San Diego News, “We cannot respond to them. Every time a black man is killed by police, it’s a message to us to stay in line. When we speak out, we’re told we don’t matter. Black lives matter. And if a black life doesn’t matter, then no lives matter. We’re supposed to be all equals.”
Mallory Webb, president of the San Diego Youth and College Division of the NAACP, also spoke briefly talking about her experience as a young black woman. “I’m angry. I’m very angry and I’m hurt. That could be my little brother; that could be my twin sister any time. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared to walk the streets every single day – I walk to school every single day – and why do I feel like I have to look behind bushes and hide behind trees? Because I could get shot and killed at any time.”
El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis urged the community to remain calm and said the investigation will be thorough.
“This will be transparent. This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours,” said El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis.
The San Diego District Attorney was on scene and also will investigate.