We thought we would be safe here: Anguish of mother of refugee killed by police

The anguished mother of a man killed by police has told of her despair at leaving violence-wracked Uganda only to have her son shot to death in suburban America. “We have come from a war zone,” Pamela Benge, mother of Alfred Olango, said through sobs, wearing large dark glasses to cover her tears. “I wanted the children not to be running around, being in fear every night, sleeping in the bush, We wanted protection. That’s why we’re here… I thought a lovely nice country like this would protect us, we just need protection, that’s all.” She said she had grieved and prayed for other parents who had lost children in recent police shooting but “didn’t know that the next time it would be me”.

There is nothing as painful. It is so much that you cannot swallow it. You try to swallow it, but the pain overweighs you. It is so bitter.

Pamela Benge, mother of Alfred Olango

Mr Olango, who had a history of mental illness, was shot dead after he pointed an electronic cigarette at officers who approached him in the city of El Cajon, San Diego. The 38-year-old was spotted wandering among traffic as he suffered a nervous breakdown following the death of a friend, said his family, who have demanded police release video of the incident. His death sparked a third night of protests in the city, when up to 75 people marched through streets and blocked intersections until police used pepper-spray balls to break them up. Some got into fights with angry drivers, car windows were broken and a man was pushed off his motorcycle, police said. Others threw bottles at police.

I thought it was way too incendiary to not release something

El Cajon mayor Bill Wells explains why only a single frame has so far been released from police video