The AP reports that the El Cajon mayor identified Richard Gonsalves as one of the officers who shot and killed Olango, who did not have a firearm but had assumed a shooting-like stance while holding a vape smoking device, according to police.
Mayor Bill Wells said Gonsalves was one of the officers involved in the shooting.
On September 30 in a press conference, the police chief said Gonsalves was the officer who fired his gun and shot Olango; the other officer had a taser. Police and the District Attorney released the full citizen video of the shooting. Watch the video here.
The San Diego Union Tribune says that the lawyer who represented Gonsalves’ accuser in the sexual harassment allegations, which resulted in settlement, is now representing Olango’s family.
The shooting of the Ugandan-born furniture store worker has sparked protests and outrage in the community and on social media.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gonsalves Was Demoted After the Accuser Said He Allegedly Harassed Her
According to the Associated Press, Christine Greer sued Gonsalves and the city of El Cajon last year, alleging that “Gonsalves repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances, which included texting her a photo of his penis and on another occasion texting that he was drunk and wanted to have three-way sex with Greer and her wife.”
He was demoted from sergeant to officer but allowed keep his job, AP said.
News10 reported that one of the texts allegedly read, “I’m drunk and I want u! Both of u!” according to the lawsuit.
2. Police Say Olango Did Not Have a Firearm & Was Holding a Vape Device
On Tuesday evening, a few hours after the shooting, El Cajon police said that Olango, 30, a cook at Hooter’s, was holding an object that he pointed in the face of the officer who shot him. At that time, they refused to identify the object.
However, in a news release on Wednesday, police said Olango was holding a vape smoking device.
“The object that Mr. Olango drew from his pant pocket and pointed at the officer is a vape smoking device,” the news release said. “The vape has an all silver cylinder (Smok TFV4 MINI) that is approximately 1” diameter and 3” long that was pointed toward the officer,” said the news release. “The box of the vape that was held in his grip, is 4” x 2 1/4”s x 1” (Pioneer for You Vape). The vape was collected as evidence from the scene.”
3. The Accuser Filed a Second Lawsuit After a Settlement in the First
According to 10News, the accuser’s new lawsuit, filed in January, said “ECPD made the incomprehensible decision to force Officer Greer to work with Gonsalves in her immediate presence.”
The lawsuit added that “Greer suffers from PTSD that began when she was a young police officer in Escondido and a male officer masturbated in front of her. That officer was fired. The lawsuit claims Gonsalves knew Greer’s history and that she was “unusually susceptible to harm,” said 10News.
4. Citizens Accused the Police Department of ‘Institutional Sexism’
According to The San Diego Union Tribune, citizens criticized the decision not to fire Gonsalves at a city meeting.
“Speakers claimed the recent allegations are a symptom of ‘institutionalized sexism,'” said the newspaper, which added that other female employees had sued the department in the past.
The city manager defended the decision not to take stronger action against Gonsalves, said the Union Tribune.
5. Olango’s Sister Had Called 911 Seeking Help For her Brother
The shooting death of Olango occurred after his sister called 911 seeking help for her brother, who was wandering in traffic when police arrived, according to a police news conference.
She told police he was unarmed and mentally ill, said police in that news conference. Police say that Olango pulled out the vaping device and assumed a shooting-like two-handed stance with it before pointing the object in an officer’s face. That officer then shot and killed Olango, police have said.
The shooting has sparked protests at the scene. The aftermath of the shooting was captured in a dramatic Facebook Live video stream, and eyewitnesses have said that Olango had his arms outstretched, was unarmed, and pleaded with police not to shoot him.