Another dead Black man, another “justified” police shooting. The officer involved in the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango in El Cajon, California will not face any criminal charges.
The San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumais released a statement announcing that Officer Richard Gonsalves was justified in shooting the 38-year-old Ugandan refugee.
“The law recognizes police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving. As prosecutors, we have an ethical duty to follow the law and only charge individuals when we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The only reasonable conclusion was the officer’s actions were justified.”
The decision came more than three months after Olango, 38, was shot during an altercation in the parking lot behind a taco shop in a strip mall.
“In many ways, the response in San Diego County to this shooting is reflective of a bigger picture,” Dumanis said of the protests that followed. “We are living in a time where the actions of police officers are under scrutiny more than ever.”
Police were called by Olango’s sister after she reported that her brother wasn’t “acting like himself.” Other witnesses also said that he was walking into traffic and acting strange as well.
When officers arrived at the scene, they met Olango in a fast food parking lot when the victim pulled a shiny object out of his front pant pocket which police automatically believed to be a gun. While the other officer pulled his taser, Officer Gonsalves, who’s gun was already drawn, decided to shoot. It was later revealed that Olango was armed with nothing but an e-cigarette.
Olango’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit in hopes to force police to learn better ways to deal with people suffering from mental illness.
Our condolences go out to his family. Let’s chat below.
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