An unarmed black man who was killed by police after pulling an object out of his pocket and assuming a ‘shooting stance’ was holding an electronic cigarette. The fatal shooting of Alfred Olango drew the vape from his pocket and extended his hands, prompting officers in a San Diego suburb to open fire.
El Cajon Lt. Rob Ransweiler said officers arrived at a parking lot next to a Mexican fast-food restaurant about 2:10 p.m., and Alfred Olango, who was unarmed, was shot just a minute later, police said.
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’. Police said the man had refused to comply with instructions to remove a hand from his trouser pocket and paced back and forth before rapidly drawing an object.
The item turned out to be an electronic cigarette device, police confirmed.
Facebook Live captures aftermath of shooting
|Shawn Letchaw hugs a woman named Marie at the scene where a black man was shot by police earlier in El Cajon (Picture: AP)|
Some protesters said he was shot while his hands were raised in the air, though police disputed that and a single frame from a smartphone video supported their account.
Wells was asked how he would feel if it was his child that had been shot.
‘I saw a man who was distraught, and a man acting like he was in great pain,’ Wells said. ‘And I saw him get gunned down and killed. If he was my son, I would be devastated.’
Olango came to the U.S. decades ago as a refugee from Uganda. An attorney for his family said Olango was distraught over the recent death of his best friend and was having an emotional breakdown.
|A man carries a sign during a protest in El Cajon (Picture: Getty)|
Credit: Metro, UK