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Police under fire for releasing photo that shows fatally shot black man held ‘rapidly drawn object’ like a gun

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A shooting in El Cajon, California, captured what police officers often face as they uphold law and order in America.

Placed in precarious situations, with split seconds to make a life or death decision that could result in sacrificing their own lives, cops are roundly condemned if they make the wrong decision. Even more so when race is a factor.

Sometimes they are condemned even when they make the right call — see Darren Wilson.

Police in El Cajon shot and killed an unarmed black man Tuesday while responding to a 911 call of a man behaving “erratically” behind a restaurant, CNN reported. The man, Alfred Olango, 38, had reportedly been walking in traffic, endangering himself and motorists, according to police Chief Jeff Davis.

When confronted by two cops, the suspect kept his hands in his pocket until one officer pulled his Taser.  Olango “rapidly drew an object” in response and held it “like you would be holding a firearm,” Davis said.

Olango assumed a “shooting stance” and aimed the object — later determined to be a vaping device — at the head of one of the cops. One officer fatally shot him and the other fired his Taser — both officers had more than 20 years experience on the force.

A photo of that dramatic moment was released by police:

olango

But the circumstances did not deter Black Lives Matter protesters and other racial antagonists who have been protesting for two nights demanding accountability, according to CNN.

The protests were not exactly peaceful:

Some protesters threw water bottles at police while others gathered in the street and parking lot where the shooting happened. Many held signs saying “Black Lives Matter” as police wearing helmets and holding shields looked on.

 

The woman who called 911 said she was Olango’s sister and told the dispatcher he was mentally ill and unarmed, Davis said. The wife of Keith Lamont Scott, the man killed in Charlotte, told police her husband was not armed, which turned out to be false.

Violent mob attacks man on El Cajon street for wearing pro-Trump hat

Black Lives Matter protesters in Charlotte demanded that body cam videos be released immediately, but police in El Cajon came under fire for releasing the above photo.

The Rev. Shane Harris, head of the San Diego chapter of race provocateur Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, called the decision to release the photo “cowardly,” CNN reported

“We don’t want to see a still picture of him pointing something that is not gun,” said Bishop Cornelius Bowser of the Charity Apostolic Church, according to network. “The best way to move forward right now is through transparency.”

Transparency minus any damning photos, apparently.

Tom Tillison

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