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Police kill black man acting erratically in California

The police in a California city fatally shot a black man, who had been acting erratically, prompting protesters to gather and accuse officers of an unjustified killing.

The shooting on Tuesday afternoon in El Cajon, 24 km east of San Diego, was the latest in a string of killings of black men by the police that have fueled outrage across America.

Two police officers encountered the unidentified man, who was in his 30s, behind a restaurant after receiving reports of someone “not acting like himself” and walking in traffic, El Cajon police said in a statement.

The man, who was pacing back and forth, refused officers’ orders to take his hand out of his pocket, police said.

According to the police account, at one point, as the officers tried to talk to the man, he “rapidly drew an object from his front pant’s pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer, taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance.”

Police Chief Jeff Davis did not specify what the object was, but said that no firearm was recovered. The officer, whom the man was pointing at, fired his weapon “several times,” while the other officer fired his Taser, police said. 

They released a photograph taken from video footage, showing the man in a black tank top and blue jeans seemingly aiming at the officer.

Protesters quickly gathered at the scene and accused the police of gunning the man down without warning. 

“They came out, guns drawn, three of them, and they shot him five times,” protester Rumbideai Mubaiwa said, summarizing the version of events circulating in the crowd of 100 people. 

The deaths of black men at the hands of police have spurred protests across America, most recently last week in Charlotte. 

The death of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, triggered days of unrest, forcing the governor to declare a state of emergency and deploy the National Guard.  
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