Officer in fatal California shooting of black man sued for sexual harassment


One of the officers who shot and killed Alfred Olango is the subject of two lawsuits, one alleging he sent a female officer unsolicited pictures of his genitals

One of the officers involved in a shooting death by police of a black man in a San Diego suburb is the subject of sexual harassment lawsuits by a female officer, and was demoted last year amid the allegations.

Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon, California, confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday that Richard Gonsalves was one of the officers who shot Alfred Olango, a refugee from Uganda, on Tuesday afternoon, one minute after arriving on the scene.

El Cajon police department spokesman Lt Rob Ransweiler said Wednesday that two officers arrived at the scene at about 2.10pm, and that the shooting happened at 2.11pm.

Gonsalves is the subject of two related lawsuits from a subordinate officer alleging sexual harassment that included unsolicited pictures of his genitals being sent. The suits also allege that the city was told about Gonsalvess behavior and did nothing. Gonsalves was demoted to officer from sergeant after the allegations.

Early Tuesday afternoon, police were called to a strip mall by Olangos sister, who said that her brother was not acting like himself.

Police claim that Olango was shot after he put his hands up in a shooting stance, and they released a still frame from a cellphone video taken by an eyewitness that appears to show a man with his hands raised as if holding a gun.

Police have not released the rest of the video, however, and other eyewitnesses dispute the polices account. Michael Ray Rodriguez told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he saw a shirtless black man with his hands in the air before officers opened fire.

Harrowing video posted to Facebook Live shows the immediate aftermath of the shooting, in which Olangos sister can be heard crying. I just called you for help, and you came here and you killed him, she tells police at one point.

The El Cajon mayor did not address Gonsalvess lawsuits on Wednesday. He said that the FBI was joining the San Diego district attorney in conducting independent investigations into Olangos death, and that they would release further information, including the video of the incident, at the district attorneys discretion.

The El Cajon police department is doing an investigation, the San Diego district attorney is doing an investigation … also the FBI will be doing this investigation as well, Wells told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The full video has not been released, and Wells said that it would be up to the San Diego district attorney to decide when to release it.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/28/police-shooting-black-man-san-diego-officer-sexual-harassment

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