Following days of protests, police in San Diego on Friday released video footage of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, saying the decision was made to counter “misinformation” being circulated about the incident.
The grainy cellphone and surveillance videos show the victim, Alfred Olango, 38, a Ugandan immigrant, pacing back and forth as he is confronted by two police officers in the parking lot of a strip mall.
He is then seen being tasered and shot as he points an object at one of the officers.
The cylindrical object turned out to be a vape inhaler.
The deadly confrontation in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, has prompted daily street demonstrations that turned violent late Thursdayafter protesters blocked some streets, hurling bottles and rocks at passing vehicles and police and smashing car windows.
One person was also pulled off his motorcycle.
Davis said police used tear gas to disperse the crowd and five people were arrested.
“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.
“Our only concern at this point was community safety,” he added. “We felt that the aggression of some of the protesters was escalating to the point where it was necessary to release some information.”
Davis said several stores had shut down on Friday and schools had let out students early, fearing more violence.
The shooting took place as the United States is reeling from a string of police shootings of black men, including one earlier this month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and another in Charlotte, North Carolina, that also ignited protests and heightened racial tensions.
Local officials in El Cajon have vowed a thorough and transparent investigation and initially refused to release the video of the incident pending the outcome of a probe.
Davis said the two officers involved in the incident — both 21-year veterans — had been placed on administrative leave.