At a press conference today, the police department of El Cajon, California, released video of an encounter between officers and Alfred Olango this week. On September 27, Olango -- an illegal alien -- was shot to death by a local police officer under circumstances that are still being determined. Two nights of disturbances in the aftermath of the shooting have resulted in two arrests and further tension in the community that neighbors San Diego. The video was released after Olango's family and community members issued demands.
Olango was unarmed at the time of the shooting. According to police, Olango assumed a shooting stance, thereby prompting officers to fire their weapons. Olango pointed an unidentified object at officers that was later found to be a vaping device. The fatal San Diego-area police shooting of the unarmed Olango could be seen in cell phone and surveillance videos released today. One video was recorded by a security camera at a drive-through lane of a restaurant close by, while the other was recorded by an employee at a nearby taco stand with a cellphone.
Just submitted my story on #AlfredOlango and it will be out this morning. American police are treating mental illness with firing squads.
“This is as difficult situation as a law enforcement officer will encounter,” said El Cajon police chief Jeff Davis. “For the sake of the well-being of the community, the decision was made to release this video and distribute copies to the media.”
Olango walked from side to side on the street with one hand in the pocket of his jeans while El Cajon Officer Richard Gonsalves approached him, as shown in the video. Their faces were blurred at the moment Olando removed his vape from his front pocket, prompting Gonsalves to shoot him. The video recorded by the cell phone had a perspective from a closer angle and showed several shots being fire while Olango collapsed on the ground. A woman, wearing medical scrubs, screamed as he died.
Chief Davis said he and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, as well as local leaders, wanted to "counter misinformation and correct misconception" by releasing the videos.
Round the clock protests
Protests have continued for days near the scene of the shooting in El Cajon. Last night, approximately 75 protesters hurled bottles, bricks, and rocks at police wearing in riot gear. Demonstrators also blocked traffic, attacking cars in traffic and breaking their windows near the El Cajon strip mall parking lot where the officer shot Olango, according to El Cajon police. Reportedly, there were two arrests. Local authorities and civic groups are bracing for more violence and are urging caution.
Al Sharpton is on the case
Police managed to clear the mob with pepper gas, but some of the protesters assaulted and robbed a photographer from the the San Diego Union-Tribune. The National Action Network, which is operated by black activist and MSNBC analyst Al Sharpton, are planning a rally for tomorrow, as well as a “National Day of Justice” in El Cajon.
Olango's mother, Pamela Benge and her attorney, Dan Gilleon, called for peaceful protests yesterday. She has dismissed reports that Olango (38) had a mental illness, claiming that he was distraught over the death of a friend.
The mayor of El Cajon, Bill Wells, told KGTV that the failure to release the video fueled public suspicion over the shooting and whether Olango had his hands raised. "I've seen the video,” Wells said on September 28. “I think that once the video is released people are going to be very understanding of what's happening. I don't think there's going to be a lot of shock or new revelation.”
Worried over the repercussions of increasingly agitated demonstrations, a local school district sent children home early, while businesses and restaurants also closed early. The Downtown El Cajon Business Partners advised retailers in the area to stay shuttered until October 2. “It’s my hope that nothing happens, but we all need to exercise an abundance of caution,” the organization’s president, Daryl Priest, said in a statement.
Uganda would not take back criminal Olango
Olango was reportedly born in Kampala, Uganda, and had eight siblings. His mother accompanied them when they emigrated to New York as refugees in 1991, allegedly because Olango's father threatened them. Olango's father was employee by the late dictator of Uganda, the infamous Idi Amin. After earning a GED, according to Olango's Facebook page, he attended San Diego Mesa College and worked at a Hooters restaurant. After being convicted in 2002 of selling and transporting illegal narcotics, a federal immigration judge ordered him deported. "Subsequently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sought to obtain a travel document from the Ugandan government in order to carry out Mr. Olango’s removal," said ICE spokesperson Lauren Mack. "When multiple requests were unsuccessful, Mr. Olango was released from ICE custody in 2003 under an order of supervision due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Zadvydas v. Davis."