The fatal shooting of a black man by police officers Tuesday in El Cajon, San Diego, triggered protests in the area with people accusing the police of racial profiling. The man was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries early Wednesday.
The shooting took place after the police responded to calls complaining of the man showing erratic behavior, the El Cajon Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.
“At one point, the subject rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance. At this time, the officer with the electronic control device discharged his weapon. Simultaneously, the officer with the firearm discharged his weapon several times, striking the subject,” the statement read.
The police department, which has started an investigation into the incident, said on Twitter that a video of the shooting provided by a witness showed that the man did not have his hands up when confronted.
Another witness, Michael Ray Rodriguez, said he was driving out of an apartment complex when he saw a shirtless black man with his hands up shot by an officer.
“[The officer] let go of the trigger and shot him again and again,” Rodriguez told the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, adding that he heard five shots.
In a video posted by Facebook user Rumbie Mubaiwa on the social networking site, a woman is heard saying: “I said: ‘Take your hand out your pocket, baby, or they’re going to shoot you.’ He said ‘no, no, no,’” the woman said. “When he lifted his hand out ... he did have something in his hand but it wasn’t no gun, and that’s when they shot him.”
Another woman appeared on the video said: “I just called for help, and you came and killed him,” she said. “Don’t you guys have crisis communications teams to talk to somebody mentally sick?” she asked.
Meanwhile, protesters gathered at the site of the shooting, chanting “black lives matter!” and “hands up, don’t shoot!”