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More Protests Set After Police Kill Unarmed Black Man In California

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More Protests Set After Police Kill Unarmed Black Man In California

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(Reuters) – More protests were planned on Wednesday a day after a police officer in southern California shot and killed an unarmed black man, less than two weeks after similar incidents in two other U.S. cities.

In the latest shooting, two officers responded to calls about an African-American man in his 30s walking in traffic and “not acting like himself,” according to police in El Cajon, a city of about 100,000 residents some 15 miles (24 km) northeast of San Diego.

Days earlier, in Charlotte, North Carolina and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police and shot and killed black men, igniting demonstrations against racial bias in U.S. policing and demands for greater accountability for officers.

In Charlotte, rioting prompted the authorities to impose a state of emergency and curfew.

The El Cajon officers found the man behind a restaurant at about 2 p.m. PDT (2100 GMT) and ordered him to remove his hand from his pocket. After he refused, one officer drew a firearm and the other readied a Taser device, police said.

The man paced back and forth as the officers tried to talk to him with their weapons pointed at him, police said.

He then pulled an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them toward an officer in “what appeared to be a shooting stance,” police said.

The officers simultaneously shot and used the Taser on the man, who died after being taken to the hospital, police said. Officials have not identified him.

No weapon was found at the scene, El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis told reporters. He did not say what the man was pointing.

“Now is a time for calm,” Davis said. “I implore the community to be patient with us, work with us, look at the facts at hand before making any judgment.”

The officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases.

PROTEST PLANNED

Demonstrators planned to assemble outside the police department on Wednesday to “demand an end to the oppression of black and brown people,” said United Against Police Terror, an activist group organizing the event.

Some 30 protesters gathered at the scene after the shooting, according to local media. They later marched to the police department, by which time the crowd had swollen to about 100 people, including community leaders, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In video that emerged on social media purportedly from the moments after the shooting, a woman who says she is the victim’s sister is heard saying she phoned police.

“Oh my God. You killed my brother. I just called for help and … you killed him,” the unidentified woman said, sobbing.

A witness voluntarily provided investigators with cell phone video of the incident, police said.

Police released a still photo from the video that appeared to show two officers pointing weapons at a man who was aiming an object at them.

The San Diego chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called for a swift and transparent investigation, and they condemned “disturbing” reports that police officers confiscated witnesses’ cell phones.

El Cajon police denied the claim. “No phones were confiscated from anyone at the scene,” the department said on Twitter.

The San Diego District Attorney was investigating the shooting, police said.

A study released in July showed police used force on black people at rates more than three times higher than for whites.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Laila Kearney in New York and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Photo: Protesters walk in the streets downtown during another night of protests over the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 22, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake

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5 Comments

  1. Daniel Jones September 29, 2016

    I bet one was, at least… The victim’s. If he were trying to “shoot” footage of them pointing guns at him…

    Reply
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  3. Box September 29, 2016

    I wouldnt be provoking cops with pretend-shoot, you might get shot. So they are protesting… why?

    Reply
    1. Thoughtopsy September 29, 2016

      Alas you appear to be missing the point that the guy was having a mental breakdown… which is why his relative called the police in the first place.
      Unless you condone the killing of every mentally disturbed person when police arrive on the scene?

      You also appear to be missing the point that a white person in this situation is much less likely to be shot. That’s worthy of a protest.

      And finally, aside from the above, you’re just taking the word of the police… and a single frame from a video. Both of these things have been proven repeatedly to be utterly untrustworthy.
      Remember the black guy who was running threateningly towards the policeman… except he wasn’t.
      Or the black guy who tried to steal the officer’s taser… except he didn’t and was shot in the back from 20 feet away.
      Or the black guy who was being threatening and reaching for a gun in his car… except he wasn’t.
      Remember the multiple black guys who have been shot right in front of the Police officer’s body camera or dashcam… except it was mysteriously turned off right before the shooting?

      Yeah.

  4. dpaano September 30, 2016

    As an ex-cop myself, I have to agree that SOME of the officers are out of control. The younger ones are not trained properly in the use of alternate methods to stop someone. Why aren’t they using rubber bullets or why couldn’t the one office just grab his baton and knock whatever was in the gentleman’s hands out of his hands? Why do you have to shoot someone without giving time to actually assess the situation. If the story is true, the gentleman was tased AND shot simultaneously. Why did the other officer have to shoot without waiting? This whole thing lately makes absolutely NO sense to me….this is NOT how we were trained to deal with these types of incidences, and they are just happening way too often nowadays. The newer officers have NO consciences and don’t stop to think before they act! Again, however, it’s just a few bad apples in the force, but these bad apples make the whole force look bad! That’s a very sad thing because most of our officers are dedicated and hard working and only want to “serve and protect.” It’s sad for me to see how bad a few of these officers are acting!

    Reply

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