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Police in El Cajon, Calif., a suburb near San Diego, shot an unarmed 30-year-old black man at about 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday. He was transported to a nearby hospital and then died from his injuries, the police confirmed in a statement early Wednesday morning. While the victim's name has not been officially confirmed, reports say his name is Alfred Olango. The police shooting comes after last week’s intense protests in Charlotte after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Police were reportedly responding to a call of a “erratic subject,” El Cajon Police Department spokesman Rob Ransweiler said. According to police, the man was walking in traffic and "did not comply" with orders to remove his hand from his pocket.
While the man did not have a weapon, the police claimed at a briefing that he had taken "an object" out of his pants pocket, which they have recovered. In a statement, the police department gave their account of the incident.
"[T]he subject rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance. At this time, the officer with the electronic control device discharged his weapon. Simultaneously, the officer with the firearm discharged his weapon several times, striking the subject."
A Facebook Live video, visible here, shows a woman, who later identifies herself as the man’s sister, saying, “I called you to help me but you killed my brother.” The same woman claimed that her brother was mentally handicapped.
Several witnesses said the man had his hands up. The police, however, are claiming otherwise.
Some people recorded videos of the shooting, but said their phones were confiscated—something the police have denied, saying that the only video they have was given voluntarily. Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, said in a a statement:
“It is too early to know many of the details of the actual shooting and what preceded it, and we hope that the El Cajon Police Department and the San Diego District Attorney provide the public with answers as quickly as possible, with transparency and accountability for all involved.
"Unfortunately, there are disturbing reports from a number of witnesses that police officers confiscated cell phones from people who witnessed the shooting."
The police did not release video of the shooting, saying the decision to do so was up to the District Attorney's office. However, they did make public a single frame of one of the videos, which you can see at the top of this page.
In the wake of the shooting, crowds began to gather, with chants of "Black Lives Matter" being heard. Other footage of the crowd on the scene showed them advancing forward past police tape.
After a late-night press conference, protesters met up outside the police department.