San Diego police shot and killed an unarmed black man after his sister called police to report her brother’s mental health emergency, in the suburb of El Cajon on Tuesday.
Alfred Olango’s sister said, “I called three times for [police] to come help me. Nobody came, they said it’s not priority.”
After 50 minutes, the police finally showed up on the scene and confronted a distressed Olango, then tased and simultaneously shot him fatally.
Eyewitness Michael Ray Rodriguez said, “[Olango had] his hands up … scared to death … as soon as he runs this way, they discharge: boom boom boom — five shots into him.”
A still photo from an unreleased video of the killing shows Olango pointing his hands at the officers while they have their weapons drawn on him, but El Cajon police chief, Jeff Davis, acknowledges that there was no weapon found at the scene.
Police scanner audio of the call reveals that officers knew they were responding to a 5150 call, a mental health emergency, but did not dispatch a psychiatric emergency response team.
In a video taken shortly after the shooting, Olango’s sister can be heard lamenting:
“I called you to help me, but you killed my brother. Why couldn’t you guys tase him? I told you he’s sick, and you guys shot him!”
The shooting immediately sparked protests. Hundreds gathered at the Los Panchos restaurant where Olango was killed and later outside El Cajon police headquarters.
Christopher Rice-Wilson of Alliance San Diego, joining the protestors outside El Cajon police headquarters, echoed our sentiments when he said:
“We have to ask why? Why is it okay to just kill a man when you think he has a weapon? The mere existence of an object in any man’s hand, let alone a black man’s hand, is not justification for killing him.”
Ricardo Sunga III, the head of the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, recently compared the police killings of black Americans in the United States to the “past racial terror of lynching.”