Alfred Olango – Developing Story

7:20 CST 9/28:

Alfred Olango was a disabled black man living in El Cajon, CA (near San Diego). His sister called 911 due to either a mental health crisis and/or a seizure (reports are unclear). Police showed up and … after a disputed set of incidents … shot him. He died.

There’s horrible video of his sister crying at the scene and a lot we don’t know. My tweet below with its threaded replies will take you to some of what I do know.

A few thoughts:

1) It seems most likely that police approached him and told him to put his hands where they could see them, he didn’t comply, and things escalated. This is the #CultOfCompliance. This creating a context where the disabled person, who may literally not be able to comply, is at incredible risk. It’s possible that this “most likely” scenario is not what happened and I will update if we learn more.

2) El  Cajon Police have released selected statements and stills. That is not the way to rebuild trust. I recommend Nick Selby’s recent blog post about the necessity for departments to release footage.

Unfortunately, for reasons that are both true and false, the relationship between the police and the communities they serve has in some cases deteriorated. This is inarguable. The police, therefore, must adopt data release policies and strategies designed to demonstrate their trustworthiness.

El Cajon is not adopting data release policies – with a carefully selected still and a few tweets – designed to demonstrate trustworthiness. Other departments should learn from this.

More to come, updated here as appropriate.

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