Olango was gunned down by a San Diego County officer on Tuesday afternoon in El Cajon, California. Authorities stated Olango took a “shooting stance” while he aimed an object at cops, prompting the use of deadly force. On Wednesday, the El Cajon Police Department revealed Olango was unarmed and only wielded a smoking vape when he was fatally shot.
“Mental breakdown is not easy to control. He needed someone who was trained. Just calm him down, and then take care of the situation,” his mother, Pamela Benge, said on Thursday.
Olango’s sister called police for help when Olango walked out into the street near a local shopping mall, obstructing traffic.
His family says officers should re-examine their methods for handling civilians in mental distress after a report released Thursday by the Ruderman Family Foundation showed half of the people killed by police suffer from a mental disability.
The El Cajon Police Department says a psychiatric emergency response team could not be deployed to de-escalate because they were attending another call.
Police say a witness video collected at the scene will corroborate their narrative that Olango posed a threat to officers and himself. The El Cajon Police Department released an image of Olango aiming the vape at officers, but a lawyer for Olango’s family said the image was “cherry picked” to support the officers’ narrative.
Olango’s family demands full disclosure, urging authorities to release the witness video collected at the scene. The responding officers were not wearing body cameras during the incident.
His death sparked outrage in the local community, where protesters staged several largely peaceful demonstrations urging justice and transparency.
SOURCE: NBC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter