US crowds protest police killing of another black man

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Crowds gathered in the Californian city of El Cajon
to protest against US police brutality after the
killing of Alfred Olango,
an unarmed black man, as
the FBI joined an investigation into his death.
According to family and witnesses, police officers
fired a Taser and then several bullets at Olango, a
38-year-old Ugandan refugee, after his sister
called the department for assistance because he
was acting strangely, and not like himself.
Candles and flowers were left on Wednesday at the
shooting scene, near bloodstains on the pavement.
Dozens protested outside the police station,
holding signs that read “No Killer Cops!” and
chanting “No justice, no peace”, and “Black lives
matter”.
Those protests, which were peaceful, continued
until the early hours of Thursday.
Dan Gilleon, a lawyer for the family, said that
Olango – described by his relatives as mentally ill
– was distraught over the recent death of his best
friend.

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Olango was shot on Tuesday after two officers
arrived at a car park next to a Mexican fast-food
restaurant at about 2.10pm local time, more than
an hour after being called to the scene. The
Ugandan-born refugee was shot about a minute
later.
Police said that during those 60 seconds, Olango
refused to comply with instructions to remove a
hand from his pocket and paced back and forth
before rapidly drawing an object from the pocket.
The item turned out to be an electronic cigarette
device.

Some protesters said Olango was shot while his
hands were raised in the air, though police
disputed that and produced a single frame from a
mobile lphone video to support their account.
The image showed the man in what police called a
“shooting stance”. His hands were clasped
together and he was pointing directly at an officer
who had assumed a similar posture a few feet
away. That officer fired his handgun and a second
officer, farther away, simultaneously fired his
electric stun gun.
The single photo is all police released depicting
the incident that sparked angry protests by
demonstrators demanding more information and
wanting to know how police could shoot an
unarmed man.
Olango’s family also demanded the full video be
released.
“They’re cherry-picking part of the video,” Gilleon,
the family’s lawyer, said. “This is exactly what
police have said is unfair when only portions of
video are released against them.”
As per standard procedure, the officers involved in
Olango’s killing were placed on administrative
leave.
One of the officers involved was demoted last year
amid allegations that he sexually harassed a
lesbian colleague, according to the Associated
Press news agency. The case against him is
pending.
The aftermath of the fatal shooting was filmed by a
bystander who posted the clip on Facebook . By
early Thursday, that video had been viewed
130,000 times.
“Why couldn’t you tase him? I told you he is sick –
and you guys shot him!” Olango’s sister can be
heard telling officers in the video. “I called police
to help him, not to kill him.”
Bill Wells, the mayor of El Cajon, said he was
concerned how quickly the shooting took place,
and described the bystander’s video as
enlightening.
It was not “tremendously complicated to figure out
what happened”, he said.
“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.”

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