Alfred Olango's Dad Demands Arrest of ECPD Officer in Fatal Shooting

Alfred Olango's father and several members of the community demand Officer Gonzalves be charged in the crime.

The father of Alfred Olango joined community members Wednesday as they demanded the arrest of an El Cajon Police Officer involved in the fatal shooting in downtown El Cajon.

The group noted that September shooting death of Olango occurred 78 days ago as they demanded an update from San Diego County District Attorney's Office and the El Cajon Police Department.

"Why is it possible to kill a human and be free," Richard Olango Abuka said of Officer Richard Gonsalves who was on paid adminsitrative leave while an investigation was ongoing.

"A person kills a human being and the person is let free. What is this?" Abuka demanded.

Olango's death sparked protests for weeks that led to dozens of arrests and property damage in the city of about 100,000 people, located approximately 30 miles east of downtown San Diego.

On Wednesday Shane Harris with the National Action Network, community organizer Marquis Parks, Bishop Cornelius Bowser and others stood with Olango's father as they demanded Officer Gonzalves be charged in the crime.

“Shooting somebody five times in the chest - it may not be premeditated but it definitely isn’t accidental,’ Parks said.

Alfred Olango, 38, was first reported to be walking in and out of traffic in the middle of the street and “not acting like himself,” when his sister called officers for help just after 1 p.m. on September 28.

El Cajon Police Department Lt. Rob Ransweiler said two officers first arrived at the scene at approximately 2:10 p.m. Tuesday. The officer-involved shooting happened at 2:11 to 2:12 p.m., between one to two minutes after they arrived.

Video of the shooting captured Officer Gonsalves approaching Olango in the parking lot of a strip mall in El Cajon, then firing several rounds just moments later.

El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis said Olango refused multiple instructions to remove his hand from in his pocket before he pulled out an object and held it in front of him “like he would be firing a gun.” The object was later determined to be a vaping device.

The ECPD said officers called PERT, a psychiatric emergency response team that deals with calls involving subjects in mental distress, to help with Olango before their encounter with him, but that team was not immediately available because it was responding to another call in the area.

El Cajon city officials and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office held a news conference several days after the shooting and announced an investigation into the incident.

Harris argued Wednesdy that the promise of a transparent investigation has not been held.

“Seventy-eight days have gone by and there has been absolutely no response from El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis and El Cajon Mayor Wells,” Harris said.

Members of the Olango family have filed claims or have said they plan to file claims against the El Cajon Police Department.

Abuka said Wednesday the department was negligent in how it handled a mentally ill man. Olango's mother Pamela Benge, however, has denied her son was mentally ill. She said he was emotional over the recent death of someone close to him.

Attorney Dan Gilleon has filed a claim against the officer and the ECPD on behalf of Lucy Olango, Alfred Olango's sister.

Attorneys said in November that a claim would be filed on behalf of Olango’s wife, Tania Rozer, and his two daughters. Olango’s father, Richard Olango Abuku, also planned to file a separate claim.

ECPD officials have said responding officers were not aware of Olango's criminal history at the time of the shooting. A refugee who arrived to the U.S. in 1991, Olango had two convictions on his record: one drug conviction and a firearms conviction in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials tried twice over the years to deport Olango to his native Uganda due to recurring problems with the law.

A spokesperson told NBC 7 Olango had stopped reporting to officers in February 2015.

Bishop Cornelius Bowser spoke Wednesday in support of community members working alongside law enforcement officers to transform the criminal justice system.

“Our cry for justice is not a hatred of law enforcement,” Bowser said.

“We want to work with you in changing how you hire folks,” he said. “We want to work with you in setting up accountability like a citizens’ review board.”

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