Justice for Alfred Olango, Shot and Killed By Police

Black-Lives-Matter-by-Otto-Yamamoto

Target: El Cajon Chief of Police Jeff Davis

Goal: Fire officer who shot and killed Alfred Olango while he was having a mental health crisis.

Police have shot dead an unarmed African American man named Alfred Olango who was in the midst of a mental health emergency. After Alfred Olango began to act strangely, his sister called 911 stating that her brother was in the midst of mental health emergency. Fifty minutes later, when officers arrived at the scene, they confronted Mr Olango in a parking lot. Within minutes he had been tased, and then fatally shot.

While no one disputes that Alfred Olango was unarmed, police allege he removed an object from his pocket and pointed it at officers in a “shooting stance.” According to their account of the incident, they then tried to subdue him with a taser, and only then shot and killed him. Some witnesses dispute the first claims, stating that Mr. Olango had his hands raised. Most, however, state that the police officers resorted to force alarmingly quickly, tasing and shooting Mr. Olango almost simultaneously.

Either way, this shooting represents a failure of El Cajon police officers to protect and serve. People enduring mental health emergencies are more often than not more dangerous to themselves than to others; they require medical treatment, not arrest. Furthermore, officers need to be able to recognize whether an object is a gun. Lastly, the officer chose to use lethal force rather than attempting to de-escalate the situation.

Given the arrest of New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami after he shot two officers, it is not unreasonable to expect law enforcement to be able to detain an unarmed black man without shooting him. Sign our petition and demand that the officer who killed Alfred Olango be fired.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Davis,

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the killing of Alfred Olango. While I understand that there are differing accounts of the incident, what is known is that he was unarmed, and that his sister called for help. Furthermore, it is clear that rather than attempting to de-escalate the situation, officers shouted at Mr. Olango and approached him. At best this reveals a need for additional training in handling mental health crises. While he was acting erratically, at no point did anyone state that he was a threat to anyone but himself.

Secondly, the officers at the scene claim to have mistaken an object for a gun, and they claim that they attempted to subdue him with a taser before shooting and killing him. Given that the object was not a gun, and that the officers were both standing within 10 feet of Mr. Olango in the photo your department released, this claim raises questions about the competence of the officers involved.

Either the officer resorted to lethal force almost immediately, or they are incapable of identifying a firearm at 10 feet. In both these cases, such a person is unfit for duty. I urge you to terminate the officer who shot Alfred Olango.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Oto Yamamoto

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