A 36-year-old black man struggling with mental illness and after Death Died According to family members who called for a transparent and thorough investigation on Tuesday, the deputy sheriff of the San Mateo County Sheriff was the victim of excessive force.
On October 3, a sheriff MP came across Pacifica's Chinedu Okobi and ran into traffic on the 1300 block of El Camino Real in Millbrae, authorities said. Okobi should have refused to cooperate, and the deputy asked for help.
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe of San Mateo said that when Okobi suffered a cardiac arrest, two MPs led Okobi to bring him under control and handcuff him. He was taken to the Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
In a memorial service at the San Francisco Christian Center, Okobe's family, friends, and classmates expressed his love of writing, poetry, and sports. His siblings remembered fond memories of their little brother, who had big cheeks and a big smile. Statements about Okobi's passion to be a father book ended observations of police violence and racism.
"His name has now joined an unfortunately long list of names," said Michael McBride, pastor of The Way Christian Center at Berkeley, of other unarmed black people killed by the police.
In a news conference after the memorial service, the family appeared with Civil Rights Attorney John Burris and requested the prosecutor to release more information, including all the video's of the incident, dashboard cameras and cell phones from witnesses
"I just know that one young man is dead and he was in police custody, "said Burris. "He was unarmed and had committed no serious crime."
Burris also represented the families of Mario Woods, Oscar Grant and Rodney King in civil claims against police.
Okobi's family said he was struggling with mental health issues and asked how the police responded to him in times of crisis.
"This was a stubborn attempt against someone who was most likely to be suffering from mental illness," Burris said. "Maybe they did not know that before, but observations should have made them aware that something was going on."
Burris called for a moratorium on the use of tanners in San Mateo County to the sheriff's office and all police district borders can prove that MPs and officers were properly trained.
This is the third incident this year in San Mateo County that led to the death of a suspect after he was killed.
In January, 34-year-old Warren Ragudo, of Daly City, died after an officer made him while two other officers pressed her weight on him. 55-year-old Ramsey Saad passed out in August and died later after being murdered by a Redwood City police officer.
Wagstaffe is still investigating the case of Saad and found no criminal misconduct in the Ragudo case.
The District Attorney expects the investigation of Okobi's death to take eight to ten weeks. During this time, the district attorney said he would review interviews with each of the five deputies involved, an autopsy report, a cell phone, and a dashboard camera video and question anyone who witnessed the incident to determine whether criminal charges are warranted. 19659010] An autopsy report is not finished yet.
"That's a crucial thing for us – why did this man die?" Said Wagstaffe. "If I found that excessive use of force prevailed, it would be a violation of the law, and there are a number of laws that deal with it."
Ashley McBride is a staff member of the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @ashleynmcb