Sep 28, 2016 (El Cajon) An emergency rally was called to protest and speak about the death of Alfred Olango by many organizations in the county. What is clear from the video that was posted by both Sandy Naranjo and Sarah Saez is that there is an environment of fear among the African American community in El Cajon.
“Some of us can’t walk down the streets of El Cajon and not be stopped and harassed by the police.” These were the words of one of the speakers, but this was a common theme. Suffice it to say, this is a common theme across the nation. The other, and we heard it yesterday as well, “this could be my brother.”
The fear is clear, a woman who spoke (sorry, we worked with what we had), said “I am scared to walk the streets every day.” She relayed the story of darting from tree to tree, from cover to cover. Why? She never knows what will happen. People are tired of this.
Ali Hassin did raise the most important questions here. He spoke of the three disadvantages that Olango was when a 911 call was placed. He was black, he was mentally ill and he was not able to follow orders. Because of that, there seems to be a death sentence in play.
He also said that the department was aware of the situation. This was dispatched, and they have apparently gotten their hands on the dispatch tapes, as a 51-50, which means mentally unstable. They officers were aware. Per protocol, they should have sent the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT), a clinician and a uniformed officer specifically trained to deescalate these situations. They did not.
As the Chief admitted yesterday, Hassin repeated that the sister called three times within 50 minutes. He also said that no weapon was found, they are still describing as an object. Also one of the officers used a Taser, while the second used deadly force. Hassin asked why did one officer deem this to be a less than lethal situation, and another a deadly force situation.
There is also a call for a Department of Justice investigation, since they expect the District Attorney to rule this a good shooting, since DA Bonnie Dumanis never rules against officers. They are expecting another white wash.
A friend of the family, Agnes Hassan, said something quite poignant, since this is a refugee family. She is from Sudan, the Olango’s are from Uganda. They came to the United States for a better life, and “all this happens again.” She also said, “we respect people in Africa. If somebody has mental problems,” how come you do not deal with them?
Yesterday Chief Jeff Davis said something quite significant. They were going to have full transparency. Yet, from social media feeds people do not feel this is happening. They feel left out. So that is going to be part of the challenge. What is also part of the mix is that people mistrust the police and fear the police.