POLL: Message About Race One Year After El Cajon Police Shooting

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One year ago the debate over police shootings came to San Diego.

An African American man was shot and killed by a white El Cajon police officer after he waved what turned out to be a vaping device at police and refused orders to drop it.  Family members said he was mentally disturbed.  The District Attorney said the police officer’s actions were justified given the circumstances.

Protests followed that evening and for several days afterwards as the anger over officer involved shootings around the country showed itself here.

But there was a difference as the mayor of El Cajon put it in an interview with KOGO News.

Mayor Bill Wells saying that while protestors a year ago who marched through his city were angry and wanted to let their voices be known about what had happened, the trouble and violence seen in other cities after a police shooting did not happen.

There were some things thrown during one protest and a few arrests, but nothing like we saw in other cities.

The mayor credits the people in the community who came to protest with why there was not much violence, saying they did not respond to what he said were agitators from outside the community who came to cause violence.

But the incident did end up bringing to the surface feelings among some in his community that racism was a problem even in a diverse city like El Cajon.  A city where Christian Iraqis and Arab Muslims make up at least a third of the population and a city that includes African Americans and other minorities living in many areas of the community and a city where dozens of different languages are spoken in the local school district.

And when you listen to what the mayor of El Cajon says, you understand that race should not divide us but should bring us together, since we’re all part of the same race, the human race.

 
 

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