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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, September 30, 2016

U.S. Twice Tried to Deport Man Fatally Shot by Police in California

Wall Street Journal
By Zusha Elinson
September 29, 2016 
The federal government twice tried to deport a Ugandan refugee whose death at the hands of police sparked a second night of protests in Southern California Wednesday.
Alfred Olango, 38 years old, was holding a “vape smoking device” when police fatally shot him in El Cajon, Calif., on Tuesday, police said.
Police said they fired after he failed to obey commands and appeared to take a “shooting stance” while pointing the object at them. He was later found to be unarmed.
The death of Mr. Olango, who police say had been acting erratically when they arrived, is the latest police shooting of an unarmed black man that has drawn protests this summer, from Minnesota to Oklahoma to North Carolina.
On Wednesday night, hundreds  took to the streets of El Cajon, a city of around 100,000 near San Diego, to remember Mr. Olango, and demand accountability from police.
The event was mostly peaceful, though one man wearing a Trump baseball cap was chased and pushed. Some protesters blocked traffic.
San Diego County Sheriff deputies stood in lines in the street, holding batons and wearing helmets with shields. Protesters stood inches away from them, with their hands up, a familiar gesture at police shooting protests around the country.
Mr. Olango arrived in the U.S. as a refugee in 1991. He was ordered to be deported to Uganda by an immigration judge in 2002, following a conviction for selling drugs, according to a statement from U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency charged with identifying individuals for deportation.
ICE tried several times to get a travel document from the Ugandan government to remove him from the country, but those attempts were unsuccessful and  he was released from ICE custody, the agency said.
In 2009, Mr. Olango was back in ICE custody after serving a prison term for a firearms charge in Colorado, according to ICE. Immigration officials said they again tried to obtain travel document from the Ugandan government and were once again unsuccessful.
Under a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, ICE cannot hold those under deportation orders for more than six months if their “removal cannot occur within the reasonable foreseeable future,” the agency said. “This is often due to a foreign government’s refusal to accept the repatriation of its nationals.”
Dan Gilleon, an attorney for Mr. Olango’s family, said Mr. Olango had been working at a furniture store and had been upset at the death of a friend before Tuesday’s episode. He said a relative called police because Mr. Olango had been acting erratically.
Mr. Gilleon said police officers should be able to tell the difference between a vape pen and a gun.
Mr. Gilleon also said that officers are trained in how in how to de-escalate situations with people suffering from mental breakdowns, but didn’t do so in this situation.
“This cowboy decided to end it in 60 seconds,” Mr. Gilleon said. “There’s no crime taking place, there’s no one being threatened.”
An El Cajon police spokesman said the department does have a special response team for mental-health crises, but it was on a different call at the time of the shooting.
Protesters have demanded the release of video footage from bystanders showing the shooting. The police department recently ordered body cameras, but they haven’t been delivered yet, a police spokesman said.
City officials said under San Diego County policy, video of the shooting would be released only once the district attorney’s office had completed its investigation. Police earlier released a single still photograph of the encounter.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said Wednesday afternoon that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had joined the investigation into the shooting, and urged patience and calm from residents.
“This is a community that does not see these types of problems happen very often,” Mr. Wells said.
Mr. Wells said he understands that protesters don’t feel heard.
“I understand they feel frustrated by a system that they don’t feel is working in their favor,” he said. “I am going to do everything in my power to heal the situation as quickly and thoroughly as I can.”

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