The El Cajon police officer who shot and killed an alcohol and cocaine user who pointed a vaping device at him like a gun will not face charges for what authorities (and anyone with the least bit of common sense) easily recognized as a justifiable shooting.
The El Cajon police officer who last year fatally shot Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man, was justified and will not face criminal charges, the District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
“The law recognizes police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving,” Dumanis said during a news conference at the downtown Hall of Justice. “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 announcement by Dumanis elicited a swift condemnation from Olango’s family, friends and supporters, who promised to continue to fight for justice and have the officer’s deadly use of force independently investigated.
“War has been declared on humanity and the battle line has been drawn,” Olango’s father, Richard Olango Abuka, told reporters at a news conference at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Southcrest.
The father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Uganda, said he was shocked that a police officer in America can kill a human being without being arrested.
“This is the time to talk for Alfred. This is the time to defend Alfred … and even to cry for Alfred,” Olango Abuka said.
The Rev. Shane Harris, president of the San Diego branch of the National Action Network, a civil-rights group, said he will ask Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint a special prosecutor to the case.
Police said the officers who confronted Olango at 2:10 p.m. on Sept. 27 believed he was armed with a weapon, which was later revealed to be an e-cigarette device.
In her letter to El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis that discusses the findings, the district attorney said tests showed Olango, a 38-year-old Ugandan refugee, had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
I empathize with the loss the Olango family must be feeling, but Alfred Olango appears to have intentionally committed “suicide by cop.” He refused to listen to police commands, acted aggressively towards officers, and then drew an object with a three-inch silver barrel from his pocket and pointed it at police. The officer was entirely correct in his decision to use deadly force to stop the perceived deadly threat.
This isn’t a remotely questionable shooting from a legal or tactical perspective.