Serious questions must be answered about El Cajon Police Department policy and procedure when encountering people experiencing mental health crises.
Press release provided by ACLU
In response to community concerns about the conduct of law enforcement leading up to and in the aftermath of the killing of Alfred Olango, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent public record requests to the County of San Diego and the City of El Cajon seeking information concerning policies and protocol for interacting with people experiencing mental health crises, and also El Cajon Police Department policies and protocol for responding to public protest.
Together with several community groups and stakeholders, including with Alliance San Diego and the San Diego Organizing Project, the San Diego ACLU has been responding to numerous questions regarding the killing of Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man experiencing a mental health crisis. In addition, the ACLU has been responding to questions following what many believe was an unacceptable show of force by ECPD toward peaceful protestors and possible First Amendment violations.
Citing the California Public Records Act, the ACLU raised a number of questions in their requests, seeking information related to:
- The sequence of events leading up to the shooting of Alfred Olango, from his sister’s initial 911 call to the pronouncement of his death;
- How the El Cajon Police Department trains, equips, dispatches, and supports its officers to interact with people experiencing mental health crises;
- The County of San Diego and El Cajon Police Department’s policies and protocol for deploying Psychiatric Emergency Response Teams (“PERT”) in response to 911 calls or other calls; the reasons PERT was not deployed to assist Alfred Olango; and
- The criteria used by the El Cajon Police Department to determine that the community vigil at the site of the shooting of Alfred Olango was an “unlawful assembly;” the reasons for the deployment of law enforcement officers in riot gear to that peaceful demonstration; and the number of people arrested and charged.