Police release video of fatal shooting in San Diego suburb

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) -- Videos of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in a San Diego suburb will be released to the public Friday, police said.

The release comes after protesters and the family of the dead man demanded to see a bystander's full cellphone video from which a single frame had been released showing the man in what was described as a "shooting stance."

>>WATCH LIVE: El Cajon PD release video of the shooting [viewer discretion is advised]

The decision to release the witness video and footage from a security camera was welcomed by a lawyer for the family of Alfred Olango, who said the single frame was selectively misleading to support the police version of events.

"We're eager to see it and we definitely want to see it," attorney Dan Gilleon said. "It's about time."

Olango, 38, was killed Tuesday by an officer who was responding to reports that a mentally unstable man was walking in traffic and behaving erratically.

Olango had not obeyed an order to remove a hand from his pants pocket and was fatally shot after he quickly drew an object from the pocket and pointed it at an officer in a "shooting stance," police said. The object was an e-cigarette device.

The bystander's video showed his hands together outstretched at chest level and aiming at an officer.

The killing led to three nights of angry and, at times, violent protests.

El Cajon's mayor had defended the decision to release the single frame, saying he had seen the entire video and it accurately represented the situation the two officers faced.

Mayor Bill Wells said he reached the decision to release the image with the police chief and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to counter reports from people saying Olango had his hands in the air and was begging not to be shot.

"I thought it was way too incendiary to not release something," Wells said.

Wells said he met with leaders of the black community Thursday who told him releasing the video immediately could help prevent violence. Wells said then that he wanted to talk to Dumanis to discuss why the video should not be released immediately.

It wasn't immediately clear why they decided to release the video.

In addition to eyewitness video, police said they would also release footage from a security camera.

Ministers on Friday prayed for healing, unity and peace in the community after nights of chaotic protest.

"We pray to you to thwart those who would bring unrest, chaos and damage to our city and our county, to those who would try to use this tragedy for their own purpose," the Rev. Dave Hoffman said. "We pray for those who loved Alfred Olango who have lost a father, a loved one, a friend, that your peace and comfort would fall upon them."

Protests Thursday night were more violent and destructive than gatherings the previous two nights.

Between 50 and 75 people marched through streets and blocked intersections. Some got into fights with drivers angry over blocked traffic, at times breaking car windows and in one case pushing a man off his motorcycle, police said. Some threw bottles at police.

Police used pepper-spray balls to break up the crowd and two men were arrested for failing to end an unlawful assembly.

The fatal shooting happened less than two weeks after black men were shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, where violent protests broke out.

Police in both those cities have released videos of the shootings.


 

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