People gathered in El Cajon, California, on the second night of protests Wednesday following the fatal shooting of a black man by police. Alfred Olango was shot after he pointed an object — that happened to be an electronic cigarette device — at police officers Tuesday.
Olango’s friends and family reportedly said he was mentally ill and may have been suffering a seizure moments before his death. He was shot within a minute after officers arrived at the scene following complaints of the man being mentally unstable and walking in and out of traffic, police said.
According to police, Olango did not follow orders to remove his hand from his pocket and later drew a vaping device at the officers. Following this, Olango was shot. He was 38 years old, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Olango had come to the U.S. decades ago as a Ugandan refugee.
Some protesters said that Olango had his hands up in the air. However, police refuted the claims and provided a single frame from a cellphone video to support their story.
The still photo showed Olango in what authorities stated was a “shooting stance” pointing at an officer who had his handgun drawn up on the man. That officer fired his weapon and a second officer fired his electric stun gun, according to police Chief Jeff Davis.
Mayor Bill Wells expressed concern over how quickly the shooting took place — within a minute of police's arrival at the location. He also said that the cellphone was helpful and it was not “tremendously complicated to figure out what happened.”
Protesters and Olango’s family are demanding that the full video be released, saying that the still image was not of much use.
“They’re cherry-picking part of the video,” lawyer Dan Gilleon, who is representing the Olango family, reportedly said. “This is exactly what police have said is unfair when only portions of video are released against them.”
Following the shooting, Facebook user Rumbie Mubaiwa posted a video showing a crying woman who identified herself as Olango’s sister.
“Oh my God. You killed my brother. I just called for help and ... you killed him,” the woman said in the video.
Meanwhile, the protests in El Cajon on Wednesday saw civil rights activists along with demonstrators gathered outside the police department. They chanted “murder,” “justice for Alfred Olango” and “black lives matter.”
“We are not going to stop until we get justice,” the Reverend Shane Harris, president of the National Action Network’s San Diego chapter, said at the demonstration. “We do not trust local prosecutors to investigate local police.”
Davis said that the El Cajon Police Department’s homicide unit will investigate the incident. The FBI and the district attorney have also launched an investigation.