Protesters blocked streets in El Cajon, California, late Friday as they organized a march for Saturday after police released the shooting video of Alfred Olango. The black man was shot Tuesday after he pointed an object — that happened to be an electronic cigarette device — at police officers.
About 200 protesters gathered in a demonstration that remained largely peaceful through Friday evening. For two hours protesters reportedly chanted “touch one, touch all,” “hand’s up, don’t shoot” and “no justice, no peace” around the site where 38-year-old was killed. The group blocked intersections as they marched through the streets, and also attempted to walk onto an interstate freeway, but were blocked by police.
The San Diego suburb had seen unruly and, at times, violent protests for the last two days. On Thursday night, an officer was reportedly struck in the head by a brick hurled by a protester, following which police made five arrests.
A march has been planned in memory of Olango, who officers said did not follow orders to remove his hand from his pocket and later drew a vaping device at the officers before he was shot. After pressure from public, two videos of the shooting were released by authorities. Police Chief Jeff Davis said that the videos were released earlier than expected because of the aggressive protests.
The video shows an officer firing four times at close range almost immediately after Olango, who had come to the U.S. decades ago as a Ugandan refugee, raised both hands to chest level, an action described as a shooting stance.
However, a lawyer for Olango's family said that the video shows an officer provoked the father of two before opening fire. Attorney Dan Gilleon said that footage released by police shows what he calls “a cowboy with his gun drawn provoking a mentally disturbed person” into reacting.