Saturday, October 1, 2016

Amid Violent Protests, Authorities Release Video of Black Man Killed in El Cajon Police Shooting

If we were still in the middle of the summer, I'd be tempted to go down to San Diego for some original blog reporting. I haven't done anything like that in a while.

In any case, following-up from the other day, "El Cajon Police Officer Shoots and Kills Black Man (VIDEO)."

At the San Diego Union-Tribune, "El Cajon protests continue after release of police shooting video":

Three days after an El Cajon police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man, authorities released video of the incident his family and protesters have demanded to see.

A protest far more peaceful than Thursday night followed the release of the footage.

The two videos, lasting less than 90 seconds total, show the moments on Tuesday before and when an officer fired his gun and a second officer fired a Taser at Alfred Olango, 38.

On the video with sound, four gun shots are heard, followed by a woman’s screams.

The recordings last only a few seconds after the shooting. One recording was surveillance video from a nearby business, the other was taken on cellphone by a witness.

El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, backed by Mayor Bill Wells, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and others, held a news conference on Friday to distribute copies of the video to reporters.

Davis identified Officer Richard Gonsalves as the officer who shot Olango and Officer Josh McDaniel as the officer who fired a Taser. Both have been on the department for 21 years.

The chief said he sat in on a conference call Friday morning with Wells, Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and Escondido police Chief Craig Carter. All agreed to release of the video in the interest of public safety, he said.

He added that misinformation was spreading through the community “with the potential to create unrest” in the city.

“We didn’t want to waste time,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was important to put this out to the community.”

Davis said nights of “escalating aggression” and the effects of protests in the city, including closed stores and schools, led to the decision to allow the public to see the videos.

Dumanis said she agreed with the release of the footage, adding that the video is only one piece of evidence her office will review in deciding whether the shooting was legally justified.

She said the FBI has been involved in the investigation into the shooting.

Dr. Andre Branch, president of the NAACP San Diego, also at the conference, agreed that the video needed to be shown.

“I applaud and commend Chief Jeff Davis and the city of El Cajon for releasing the video of the police-involved shooting. NAACP believes this is the action that should follow any and all police shootings.”

Olango’s family were not present at the conference.

The videos were shown live over local news stations. About a dozen people collected outside police headquarters during the news conference watched the videos on their cellphones and reacted with anger as they heard the shots ring out...

Also at LAT, "The battle for footage after the El Cajon shooting: 'The country is begging for a video'."