A police officer in El Cajon, Ca., near San Diego, yesterday shot and killed a black man who raised an object and took a stance that police said insinuated he was going to shoot a weapon, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The man was not armed after all, police Chief Jeff Davis said. He declined to say what the man was grasping. News of the shooting prompted a protest that grew to about 200 people by evening, including community leaders and members of local churches who led prayers.
The victim was identified as Alfred Orlango, 30. Friends said he was mentally ill and had a mental breakdown that caused him to act out in the minutes leading up to the shooting. Police received reports of a man acting erratically and walking in traffic along a strip mall shortly after 2 p.m. A woman who called police mentioned her brother was mentally ill, Davis said. He said the man failed to comply with multiple instructions from an officer and concealed a hand in a pocket of his pants. The officer brandished a gun and continued to give the man commands. A second officer arrived and brandished a stun gun. The suspect took out an object from the front pocket of his pants, grasped it with both hands, and “extended it rapidly toward the officers” as he stood in a stance that suggested he would shoot, Davis said.