A Black Lives Matter protest turned violent on Thursday night in El Cajon, near San Diego, as demonstrators attacked cars and at least one motorcycle while protesting the death of 38-year-old Ugandan refugee Alfred Olango earlier this week.
It was the second straight night of violence at the protest, after a mob chased and beat a man who came to a community vigil on Wednesday evening wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Olango was killed in a confrontation with police when he pointed an object at officers that looked like a gun but which later turned out to be a vape smoking device. Police had arrived on the scene after being called by Olango’s sister, who said that he had been acting strangely. A widely-circulated image of the confrontation, which looks like an armed standoff, suggests that one police officer was black and the other was white. One officer reportedly fired a Taser but the other fired live ammunition.
On Thursday evening, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, “about 50 to 75 people — a smaller crowd than previous nights — took over the intersection of Broadway and Mollison Avenue” and “stopped passing vehicles and broke several of their windows” at about 8 p.m., according to police. There was also a confrontation with a motorcyclist who lost control of his vehicle, and police made two arrests, firing pepper balls to disperse the crowd after people began throwing glass bottles.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Olango was supposed to have been deported from the United States twice, after separate federal convictions, first on drug charges in 2002 and second on weapons charges in 2009. He could not be deported because the Ugandan government failed to provide travel documents, and he was released under supervision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Friends told the Times that Olango had been dealing with a personal crisis when he was shot.