One of the officers involved in the deadly shooting of an unarmed black man this week in southern California was previously sued for sexual harassment by a fellow member of law enforcement, according to a new report. The revelation about Richard Gonsalves has prompted questions about his integrity following the controversial killing of Alfred Olango in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego.
Gonsalves was sued by El Cajon Police Department officer Christine Greer, who claimed her coworker sent her text messages saying he was drunk and wanted group sex with Greer and her wife, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday. Gonsalves also allegedly sent explicit photos of his genitalia to the Greer's cell phone and made additional sexual advances towards her. Several other women were also harassed by Gonsalves, Greer’s lawsuit stated. It was not immediately clear when the lawsuit was filed.
Although Greer eventually settled that lawsuit, she filed a new one in 2015 alleging Gonsalves retaliated against her for the initial accusations. Gonsalves was demoted from a sergeant to an officer in March of that year.
Olango was shot by police officers after he reportedly pulled an object out of his pocket and pointed it at authorities Tuesday while assuming a “shooting stance.” One officer attempted to restrain Olango with a stun gun, but that method failed and resulted in several shots being fired and Olango’s death. Authorities have not identified which officer fired the fatal shots.
In a Facebook video taken at the scene, an unidentified woman’s voice can be heard explaining what she witnessed. "I said: 'Take your hand out your pocket, baby, or they're going to shoot you.' He said 'no, no, no,'” she 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."
Although Gonsalves’ name was made public by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, the identity of the second officer involved in the shooting was not immediately released.