Protests Erupt Outside San Diego After Cops Kill 'Mentally Ill' Black Man
A fatal police shooting has sparked unrest in a Southern California city.
An unidentified black man was killed by cops in El Cajon after officers there received calls of a man who was "not acting like himself" Tuesday afternoon. Cops say he was endangering his own life, as well as the lives of motorists, by walking in a roadway.
By Tuesday evening, a crowd of about 100 citizens and community leaders gathered near the strip mall, where the incident occurred to demonstrate their concerns the shooting was racially motivated.
Police say the man refused to remove his hand from his pocket despite repeated orders to do so.
According to a police statement, a second responding officer arrived on scene and immediately prepared to use a Taser on the man.
However, at one point, cops allege the subject drew an object from his front pants pocket and "placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance."
The second officer fired his Taser just as the first shot his gun multiple times.
Officers provided first aid on scene until medics arrived and transported the subject to an area hospital for treatment.
The subject has since died as a result of his injuries.
While detectives were on scene investigating the officer involved shooting, a witness came forward and notified officers they had video footage of the incident. El Cajon police included a still from the footage that appears to show the man holding his hands together in the "shooting stance" mentioned in their statement.
Other witnesses, however, allege the officers were too quick to open fire and suggested their actions had been influenced by the fact that they were dealing with a black man, one they described as mentally challenged, according to CBS8.com.
Friends of the man's family have also reportedly confirmed he suffers from a mental illness and did not pose a threat to the officers.
The shooting and ensuing unrest come at yet another tense moment in cities across America in the wake of what protesters have called racially motivated fatal shootings of black men at the hands of police.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a female police officer is being charged in the death of a black man who was shot dead while some say his hands were raised on September 16. The officer says she fired in self defense.
A week of protests subsequently began in Charlotte after cops killed Keith Lamont Scott in an encounter some witnesses believed did not warrant the use of deadly force.
The El Cajon Police Department said the district attorney’s office has been contacted, and the two officers will be on administrative leave until the conclusion of the investigation.