Thursday, August 16, 2018
News Roundup

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Dozens of demonstrators protested Wednesday outside a suburban San Diego police station after a black man who reportedly was acting erratically at a strip mall was shot and killed by an officer when, according to authorities, he pulled an object from a pocket, pointed it and assumed a "shooting stance"

Demonstrators listened to civil rights figures and chanted "no killer cops" and "black lives matter" during the peaceful protest outside the El Cajon Police Department headquarters.

The Rev. Shane Harris said the man's sister had called 911 to report her brother was acting out and made clear he had mental issues. "There were real issues with his mental health and that was part of the conversation," Harris said.

One officer fired a stun gun and another officer simultaneously fired his firearm several times, police Chief Jeff Davis said. Davis would not say what the object was, but acknowledged it was not a weapon.

Before police announced the death, dozens of protesters gathered at the shooting scene, with some claiming the man was shot with his hands raised. Police disputed that and produced a frame from a cellphone video taken by a witness that appeared to show the man in the "shooting stance" as two officers approached with weapons drawn.

The fatal shooting happened just weeks after black men were shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Okla., and in Charlotte, N.C., where violent protests broke out.

Candles and flowers were left Wednesday at the scene of the Tuesday afternoon shooting.

Davis urged the community to remain calm and said the investigation will be thorough. "This will be transparent. This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours," he said.

Police said they were called to the mall shortly after 2 p.m. by the sister of a man in his 30s who said he was "not acting like himself" and walking in traffic. They say the man refused "multiple" orders to take his hand from his pocket, then was shot after pulling out the object.

When detectives arrived, police said, a female witness came forward and voluntarily provided cellphone video of the incident. Authorities released the single frame from it but not the video. El Cajon officers do not wear body cameras.

Other videos quickly surfaced showing the aftermath. In one posted to Facebook, an unidentified woman is heard telling police at the scene that the man was ordered to take his hand out of his pocket.

"I said: 'Take your hand out your pocket, baby, or they're going to shoot you.' He said 'no, no, no,' " the woman said. "When he lifted his hand out ... he did have something in his hand, but it wasn't no gun, and that's when they shot him."

Another woman in the video wearing hospital-style work clothing identified herself as the man's sister. She shrieked and cried, telling officers that she called them to help her brother, who she described as mentally ill. "I just called for help, and you came and killed him," she said.

 
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