El Cajon police say they’ll release video of fatal police shooting – Los Angeles Times
EL CAJON, Calif — After a night of violent protests in El Cajon, authorities released cellphone and surveillance video of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man this week.
The cellphone video showed the man, Alfred Olango, weaving back and forth in parking lot a police officer confronted him. The video shows the officer, identified as Richard Gonsalves, following Olango with his gun drawn and pointing the weapon at the man.
Olango then clasps his hands together and points them at Gonsalves, who opens fire. Olango’s sister, who had called police earlier to say her brother was acting strange, is heard wailing behind Gonsalves.
El Cajon police chief Jeff Davis said the department decided to release the video in hopes of giving the public a better sense of what happened and for the well-being of the community. He said the move was also influenced by three nights of unrest in El Cajon.
Protesters and others have been calling on authorities to release the video.
Between 50 and 75 protesters stopped vehicles, broke car windows and knocked a rider off his motorcycle at the intersection of Broadway and Mollison Avenue, according to the El Cajon Police Department.
A San Diego Union-Tribune photographer also was beaten and robbed as he photographed a fight Thursday night at the scene of the shooting. Photographer Greg Torkelson was sitting in his truck at 12:45 a.m. editing video when a fight erupted between two men. He started photographing the fight and was attacked by the men. One of the men stole his camera, the newspaper reported.
As the violence escalated, law enforcement officials declared an unlawful assembly and ordered protesters to disperse.
That’s when protesters began throwing glass bottles at officers, prompting police to shoot pepper-spray balls at them, authorities said.
Two men, 19 and 28 years old, were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly, police said.
The violence came hours after Olango’s family called for unity and peaceful protests.
“I am always for peace,” Olango’s mother, Pamela Benge, told reporters Thursday. “I don’t want war. If you have seen war, you will never ever, ever want to step near.”
Olango, 38, was shot and killed Tuesday in a confrontation with officers behind a Mexican restaurant in downtown El Cajon. Police say Olango was behaving erratically and took a “shooting stance” immediately before he was shot and killed by one of the officers.
Police later said Olango was holding a vape smoking device when he was shot.
Olango’s mother said her son needed help because he was having a mental breakdown after just losing a friend, who recently died.
Olango, a Ugandan refugee, came to the U.S. with his family to escape the violence in the war-torn country.
On Thursday, U.S. Immigration officials said they tried twice to deport Olango for drug and firearms convictions, but their attempts were ignored by the Ugandan government.
Community activists and family urged El Cajon police to release video of the fatal shooting. The National Action Network in San Diego called for a unity rally on Saturday and a “National Day of Justice” in El Cajon.
The shooting was recorded by a bystander, who gave the video to investigators. But authorities have refused to release the video. Instead, police released a still photograph of the shooting.
Crowds of about 300 people turned out Tuesday and Wednesday nights to denounce the shooting.
Mayor Bill Wells and Police Chief Jeff Davis have pleaded for calm in the community. Wells said Wednesday night that he was pleased the demonstrations hadn’t turned violent.
“While there is anger, I don’t think there’s anger to the point that it leads to violence. I’m happy about that,” the mayor said.
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3:02 p.m. Updated with video.
12:50 p.m.: This article was updated with El Cajon police announcing plans to release video of the fatal shooting.
This article was originally published at 7:30 a.m.