A black man fatally shot by El Cajon, California, police Tuesday pulled an object from his pocket and held it out “like he would be firing a gun,” El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis told KNSD-TV.
Law enforcement said they responded to a report of an “adult African-American male in his 30s” who was “not acting like himself” and was walking in traffic. Family members of the man — who has yet to be identified — reportedly said he was mentally challenged.
Davis said the man refused to obey “multiple instructions by the first officer on the scene” before and after pulling the object from his pocket.
"At one point, the male rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together on it, and extended it rapidly toward the officer, taking what appeared to be a shooting stance putting the object in the officer's face,” Davis said.
An officer shot the man after he refused to comply with their instructions. He later died after being taken to a hospital for treatment.
Davis stated that a woman believed to be the man’s sister who reported the incident is not cooperating with the investigation. “As you can understand, she was upset; she was not cooperating with us,” he said. “We can’t even confirm that it was his sister.”
Davis added that a witness captured the incident on video and “voluntarily provided” their cell phone to the department for officers to view it.
“This was the only cell phone video provided to the officers, and no cell phones were taken from anybody,” he said, adding that the video matches officers’ accounts of the incident.
The man’s death sparked Black Lives Matter protests in the city. Davis said the department will thoroughly investigate the matter and thanked the city for “the strength that they have shown in light of this tragic event."
"This will be transparent," he said. "This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes and not just ours."
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