El Cajon Shooting: Father of Alfred Olango Sets Up Foundation

Father of the mentally ill Black man killed in the El Cajon shooting last month, Richard Olango, has established a police-reform foundation.

Richard Olango has initiated the Alfred Olango Justice and Unity Foundation in honor of his son, Alfred Olango. Richard Olango lost his son due to another police shooting. The recent El Cajon shooting once again raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of policing by our law enforcement.  What goal is Richard Olango trying to achieve via the establishment of this police-reform foundation? The details of the story can be obtained from the  sources we have put together below.

THE ROOT

The father of a California man who was killed last month by during the El Cajon shooting; police announced over the weekend that he has created a foundation for police reform, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Richard Olango announced Saturday that San Diego would be the headquarters of the Alfred Olango Justice and Unity Foundation, “for the whole world.” The foundation is registered as a nonprofit organization in California.

Richard Olango spoke out against police shootings at the gathering, which was held at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park.

Richard Olango said he plans to work to improve police training in psychology, human behavior, criminal justice and discipline. Read more.

THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUTE

The event, called the International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Police Brutality, drew about 90 people.

They heard from the Rev. Shane Harris of National Action Network San Diego; Shakina Ortega, whose husband was killed by San Diego police; and Robert Branch, who videotaped himself being choked unconscious by a plainclothes sheriff’s detective.

Alfred Olango was fatally shot by El Cajon police Officer Richard Gonsalves on Sept. 27. Cellphone and security camera video caught the brief encounter and showed Olango holding his hands together in front of him, toward the officer.

Police said he grasped a vaping device with a silver cylinder, and the officer thought it was a gun.

These are the foundation of police training,” he said. “If you don’t pass these, you go back to police college.”

Police are supposed to use a gun as a last resort,” Richard Olango said. “From the time police arrived to the time my son was dead was one minute and 29 seconds.”

Other members of the Olango family were present, including his mother, Pamela Benge. She told the crowd, “I don’t want any mother to go through what I am going through.”

Branch was accompanied by his attorney, Dan Gilleon, and said he couldn’t talk about his upcoming trial on charges related to his scuffle last year with the deputy.

Branch, who worked as a security guard at the time, had gotten into a freeway traffic incident with the deputy, who was in an unmarked car and followed Branch to Del Cerro. Branch told Deputy Paul Ward, now-retired, there was no reason to arrest him and tried to fend him off, authorities have said. Branch recorded Ward’s arm around his neck in a chokehold until he became unconscious and dropped his cellphone.

“I am happy to be here, happy to be alive,” Branch said.

Ortega said San Diego police gave several versions of the 2012 encounter that ended with the death of her husband, Victor Ortega. He was shot during a struggle with Officer Jonathan McCarthy, who told investigators Ortega tried to grab his service pistol.

“I had to dig through all the lies they told me,” she said of police. “You have to fight for justice, for what’s right.”

Harris said many families have been affected by the deaths of loved ones at the hands of police. “We’re going to unite these families,” Harris said. “We’ll make sure they don’t have to walk alone.Read more.

This is a bold step in the right direction and we applaud the Mr.Olango for that. But nonetheless, it still means the police aren’t remorseful for their actions or still believe there is no need for a police-reform. It is a shame that the victim himself had to go through the difficulty of the establishing of the reform foundation. We draw your attention to the fact that the noble foundation founder hasn’t got any help from the law enforcement, neither moral nor material.

Last month El Cajon shooting counted as another irresponsible use of weapons by the police officers. In solidarity, we support the foundation and hope will, at last, help to put an end to police brutalities and killings.

 

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