Police disperse crowd with pepper balls as San Diego-area protest turns violent

Police shot and killed Alfred Olango on Tuesday, an immigrant from Uganda whose family described him as mentally ill. Investigators said he pulled something from his pocket, which was later determined to be a vaping device, and took a "shooting stance." A third night of protests occurred on Thursday, in which police dispersed people with pepper balls after protesters turned violent, police said. Photo courtesy El Cajon Police Department

EL CAJON, Calif., Sept. 30 (UPI) — Police used pepper balls to disperse the crowd on Thursday night after protests over the El Cajon police shooting death of Alfred Olango became violent.

Thursday was the third night of protests over 38-year-old Olango’s death, which protesters said was unnecessary and racially motivated. Police said protestersoccupied an intersection and stopped vehicles, breaking car windows and knocking a man off his motorcycle.

El Cajon Police Department Lt. Rob Ransweiler said police used pepper balls to disperse a crowd of about 50 to 75 people after protesters began throwing glass bottles at police.

Ransweiler said the people participating in the unlawful assembly were given notice to disperse once a multi-agency composite platoon arrived. Ransweiler said two men from El Cajon, aged 19 and 28, were arrested and no injuries were reported.

Olango, an immigrant from Uganda, died Tuesday afternoon after he was shot by a police officer. The events leading up to the shooting unfolded after police received a 911 call of a man acting “erratically” and walking into traffic. The caller said she was Olango’s sister, and that he was mentally ill and unarmed. Investigators have not confirmed whether the caller was his sister.

Police, responding about 50 minutes after the first 911 call, said they found Olango pacing with his hands in his pockets and not responding to police commands. Police Chief Jeff Davis said Olango “rapidly drew an object,” with both hands “like you would be holding a firearm.” The object was later determined to be a vaping device.

El Cajon is located about 30 miles east of downtown San Diego.


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