Protests erupt after police shooting of black man in California


Protests erupt after police shooting of black man in California

Protesters on Wednesday (September 28) demanded a federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Southern California, just as racially charged anger over two similar incidents in the past two weeks had begun to ease.

Tuesday’s mid-afternoon shooting unfolded after two officers responded to several calls about a mentally unstable person walking in traffic and confronted the man behind a restaurant in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, according to police.

One policeman opened fire with his service pistol and his partner simultaneously fired a Taser stun gun when the man pulled an object from his pocket and took aim at them in a “shooting stance,” according to police.

No weapon from the man, however, was recovered at the scene, police said. The object he was said to be carrying was not specified.

Activists and friends later identified the victim as Ugandan-born Alfred Olango, which Mayor Bill Wells confirmed on Wednesday. Friends and supporters said Olango, 38, according to court records, was mentally ill and may have been suffering a seizure in the moments before his death.

Police said they obtained cellphone video of the shooting from a bystander, but authorities released only a still frame showing two officers pointing weapons at a man who was aiming an object at them.

The shooting came days after two black men were killed by police in questionable circumstances in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, igniting demonstrations decrying racial bias by U.S. law enforcement. Authorities imposed a state of emergency and a curfew to quell unrest in Charlotte.

Protests continued after dark with hundreds of people marching from the shooting scene to City Hall – about a mile and a half away – and back again, shouting Olango’s name, taunting police and occasionally disrupting traffic.

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