No Charges for El Cajon Police Officer Who Killed Black Man
No Charges for El Cajon Police Officer Who Killed Black Man:- A police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in El Cajon, Calif., in late September will not face criminal charges in the killing, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Bonnie Dumanis, the San Diego County district attorney, described the officer’s decision to shoot Alfred Olango, 38, who the police said had been behaving erratically, as reasonable, even if the circumstances surrounding his death were tragic.
“If one objectively examines the facts, the only reasonable conclusion is that the officer’s actions were legally justified and understandable,” Ms. Dumanis said at a news conference Tuesday.
Mr. Olango’s death set off demonstrations over what his mother described at the time as the unjustified killing of a man who was having a mental breakdown.
On Sept. 27, the El Cajon Police Department received several calls from Mr. Olango’s sister, Lucy Olango, who wanted her brother taken to a mental health facility. He had begun acting erratically and was almost struck by traffic as he walked in and out of a street, according to a letter from Ms. Dumanis to the El Cajon police chief, Jeff Davis, dated Monday.
By the time the police were able to respond, a little more than an hour after Ms. Olango’s first call, Mr. Olango was in a taco shop parking lot. One of the responding officers, Richard Gonsalves, and Ms. Olango herself asked Mr. Olango to remove his right hand from his pants pocket, but he did not, according to the letter.
When he finally did, he pulled a metallic object from his pocket, “took a two-handed shooting stance” and pointed at Mr. Gonsalves, according to the account. In response, Mr. Gonsalves fired four rounds, striking Mr. Olango, who later died in a hospital. The object, it was later discovered, was a vaping device with a silver cylindrical mouthpiece.
In an interview later with the district attorney’s office, Ms. Olango expressed frustration that Officer Gonsalves had not tried harder to calm her brother down or called a special unit equipped to handle people in mental distress.
Mr. Olango tested positive for cocaine and alcohol at the hospital. The El Cajon Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.