Alfred Olango was reportedly unarmed and suffering a seizure when police outside San Diego shot and killed him, a shooting that has brought scores of angry protesters to the scene.
The shooting happened at close to 2 p.m. on Tuesday at the Broadway Village Shopping Center in El Cajon, the New York Daily News reported. Witnesses said the man, who is mentally challenged, showed erratic behavior and was not following the orders of the officers on the scene when he was shot.
Some witnesses noted that the man was also unarmed and raising his hands in the air when police shot him, but El Cajon police spokesman Rob Ransweiler could not confirm the details of the shooting.
The sister of Alfred Olango spoke to NBC 7 in San Diego, saying that her brother was suffering a seizure when he was shot by police.
The man was taken to a hospital and was initially reported to be in critical condition, KSWB-TV reported, but police later confirmed that he had died at the scene.
In the aftermath of the shooting, crowds began to gather around the scene, some of them shouting at officers. Police have tried to maintain calm, but emotions on the scene were running high. One witness recorded streaming video on Facebook, saying that police shot the man after his family members had called for help.
“OK, so the police did it again, y’all,” the Facebook user said. “They shot another unarmed black person, as usual. And the lady is saying she called them for help, not to kill her brother, and they shot her brother.”
The woman said that the incident was unfolding for 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived to help the man, who was critically wounded. In the video, his sister can be seen wailing and shouting at officers.
The full 25-minute video can be seen below, but be warned that it contains some graphic language and upsetting images. It does not show the shooting of Alfred Olango.
Other witnesses said Alfred Olango was clearly not a threat, including one person who told NBC 7 that he had his hands in the air and looked “scared to death, not knowing which way he was gonna go.”
Police in El Cajon have contested this account of the events, saying that witness video showed Olango did not have his hands in the air when he was shot. Police have not yet said if the man had a weapon.
Protesters continued to gather at the scene of Olango’s shooting on Tuesday night, some of them chanting at police officers.
To add to the already growing tensions in the wake of Alfred Olango’s shooting, some witnesses claimed that police officers were confiscating cell phone video from witnesses. The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued a statement on the claim, noting that it would be a civil rights violation if the reports are true.
“Unfortunately, there are disturbing reports from a number of witnesses that police officers confiscated cell phones from people who witnessed the shooting. Confiscating cell phones is a violation of the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable seizure without warrant or exigent circumstance) and the First Amendment (interference with the right to record in public) under the U.S. Constitution and analogous rights under the California Constitution. It is hard to see any kind of Fourth Amendment exigent circumstances at issue here.”
The shooting of Alfred Olango comes amid a number of other high-profile police shootings, including the shooting death of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week. His death has kicked off several days of protests in the city, some of them turning violent.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]