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US police released video of fatal shooting shows black man holding vape inhaler

The shooting took place as the United States is reeling from a string of police shootings of black men, including one earlier this month. Photograph: (Getty)

Los Angeles, United States Oct 01, 2016, 01.02 AM (IST)


San Diego police has released a video of the fatal shooting of the unarmed black man, saying the decision was made to counter "misinformation" being circulated about the incident, AFP reported.

Alfred Olango, 30, was shot in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon on Tuesday. The police had received a call about a man behaving erratically and walking in the streets.

The grainy videos shows the victim being confronted by two police officers in the parking lot of the mall and then being shot as he pointed a cylindrical object at one of the officers.

The object pointed at the officer was a vape inhaler.

The deaths of black men at the hands of police have spurred protests across America, most recently last week in the North Carolina city of Charlotte. Protesters gathered on Wednesday against the shooting of Olango. Following the shooting, several people gathered at the scene Tuesday night chanting "black lives matter" and "hands up, don't shoot," AFP reported. Olanga's sister also participated in the protest rally.

The deadly confrontation in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, has prompted daily street demonstrations that turned violent late Thursday, after protesters shut down streets and began throwing bottles and rocks at passing vehicles and smashing car windows.

"Our goal today is to clarify and hopefully calm the community's concerns regarding the recent officer-involved shooting," police chief Jeff Davis told reporters on Friday as he released the video footage, AFP reported.

"We believe it is essential to provide the community with as much information as we can at this point."

Local officials in El Cajon have vowed a thorough and transparent investigation and urged calm pending the outcome of the probe. "This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours," said.

Davis promised transparency in the investigation while the residents have called on the police to release the video footage of the incident. He said that the two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.

Olango's family had declined to watch the video earlier in the day, Davis said.

Olango's mother, Pamela Benge, said her son had had a breakdown after losing a friend but was not mentally ill.

"Please protest peacefully," she said through tears at a press conference.

A series of deadly police encounters across the country in recent years have raised questions about the use of force by US law enforcement against African-Americans and other minorities.

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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