When law enforcement officers are dispatched to a location and a suspect draws an object out of his pocket with a 3″ silver barrel and points it directly at the head of an officer in a classic isosceles shooting stance, officers on the scene have only one rational response.
They shoot to stop the threat.
That is precisely what took place at Broadway Village Shopping Center in El Cajon (CA) in late September, but that isn’t sitting well with Olango’s family, who have filed a civil suit against the El Cajon Police Department over Olango’s death.
The wife and daughters of Alfred Olango, the unarmed black man who was fatally shot in an encounter with police in September, filed a claim Thursday accusing the El Cajon Police Department of excessive force and negligence, saying the officers had no credible reason to use such violence against him.
It is the second claim to be filed in the shooting. A claim is a precursor to a lawsuit in state or federal court.
“We are here for one reason and one reason only: We don’t want another family to go through this,” Los Angeles-based attorney Brian Dunn said at a news conference in San Diego that outlined the legal strategy in the case.
“People always ask, what is the purpose of litigation? … The purpose of a lawsuit is to seek justice. And that comes when we break the cycle of violence and when we break the cycle of hatred and when we take steps to ensure that the killing stops.”
Officers had “no credible reason” to shoot an “unarmed” man who drew an object with a 3″ silver barrel from his pocket, took a shooting stance, and pointed it at an officer’s head?
Here’s a reality check for the Olango family.
Distraught over the death of his best friend, Mr. Olango committed what any rational person with a bit of defensive firearms training would recognize as “suicide by cop.” When two officers approached him, Olango pulled a vaping device and pointed it like a gun.
Here’s the El Cajon Police Department’s exact description of the object Alfred Olango drew and pointed like a gun.
“The object that Mr. Olango drew from his pant pocket and pointed at the officer is a vape smoking device. The vape has an all silver cylinder (Smok TFV4 MINI) that is approximately 1” diameter and 3” long that was pointed toward the officer. The box of the vape that was held in his grip, is 4” x 2 1/4”s x 1” (Pioneer for You Vape).The vape was collected as evidence from the scene.”
Here’s a look down the barrel of the vape that Alfred Olango rapidly pulled from his pocket and pointed at the head of the El Cajon officer in an Isosceles shooting stance.
While I have no comment on the TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) El Cajon Police have for dealing with emotionally disturbed persons, the fact remains that Alfred Olango’s actions are 100% responsible for the reactions of the two El Cajon police officers in this incident, as two videos from the same position—one from a drive thru’s security camera, the other from the cell phone of the drive thru employee—captured the incident.
My buddy Deputy Matt did a phenomenal job of not only dissecting the shooting stance taken by Olango and the decisions made by the officers, and how officers treat the mentally ill, which by the way, are also behind the majority of the most well known mass murders with firearms in American history.
I felt a great deal of sympathy for the Olango family from the first heart-breaking Facebook Live video which streamed the aftermath of the shooting, and the anguish of Alfred Olango’s sister, who witnessed his death.
The fact remains that the police officer who fired the four shots at Alfred Olango was 100% justified in taking each and every one of those shots.