San Diego Police Shooting, Protest, and Supreme Court Stance On Race


Picture adapted from web site Mother Jones, article “Here’s the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate Than White People”

Christine Ding, Photojornalist

On Tuesday, September 27, police in El Cajon, a city near San Diego, shot and killed an unarmed black man within a minute after arriving at a strip mall here answered a call of a man acting erratically.

Police identified the man as Alfred Olango and relatives described him as mentally disabled, saying that his sister had called the police to say that he was walking in traffic, so he called the police to seek help.

After the investigation, Jeff Davis, the city’s police chief explained in a news conference,  at one point of the shooting, the man rapidly took out an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together on that object and extended his arm toward the officers, which appeared to be a shooting stance to the officers. He also refused multiple instructions by the first officer on the scene and put his hand on his pant

pocket the whole time. Police identified the object as a “vape smoking device.” After, the officer shot Olango. Delaney Pietsch (10), stressed the issue, “That’s very tough. If the police thought they were going to be shot at, men get fighting back. The police need to be better trained to not shoot to kill. There is a lot of injustice in the world. It’s not a black and white question that’s for sure.”

People who live in the neighborhood started a protest where Olango was shot, on Sunday, October 2. People claimed that Olango was shot because he was black, and the police should not have treated him that way, even thought he had a shooting stance. The black community has been challenged by so many police shootings innocent people recently. However, seventeen people were arrested. Four people for the reason of alcohol-related offenses, one was detained for an unrelated arrest warrant, twelve were arrested because of suspicion of failing to depart an unlawful assembly.

The Supreme Court struggles with race; the Court is delving into a set of racially charged cases in the explosive context of the criminal justice system. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first and only Hispanic justice, referred to the racial divisions and the incidents happening recently. “It is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of [police] scrutiny,” she wrote as she dissented in a June police-stop case. “For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk’ — instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen … all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.”

At last, LeeAnn Burrows(10) stated, “Police need to respect all life and the people being pulled over need to respect the cops and their instructions, and the new generation should better their relationships with the communities that they serve to build trust and respect.”