The police in El Cajon, California, who have shot dead an unarmed African-American man at a strip mall, allegedly confused the vape smoking device he was pointing at them for a gun, local media reported on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, El Cajon police received phone calls about a man who was behaving erratically and walking in traffic, USA Today reported. The man refused to obey instructions from the police and raise his hands above the head when the police arrived at the site.
Police Chief Jeff Davis said as cited by the media outlet that the man drew an object out of his pocket that looked like a gun and pointed it at the face of one of the officers. The officer who had the object pointed at him shot the perpetrator who later succumbed to the injuries in a hospital.
The 38-years-old black man was identified as Alfred Okwera Olango. His sister later said he was suffering from mental problems.
The footage of the incident is now being examined. About 30 people held a rally in protest to the police actions following the fatal shooting, the media outlet added.
The El Cajon incident follows one in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week when 40-year-old unarmed black man Terence Сrutcher was fatally shot by the police after his SUV stalled on the road.
According to The Guardian study, the number of black men killed at the hands of law enforcement officers in 2015 in the United States exceeded 1,000. In the spring, a police officer shot dead an unarmed black man in the same Tulsa county where Crutcher was killed. The officer was sentenced to four years in prison.