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Related Categories: Peninsula | Police State & Prisons
DA Announces: San Mateo County Deputies Will Not Be Charged in Taser Murder
by Seeking Justice for Chinedu Okobi
Saturday Mar 2nd, 2019 8:58 PM
District Attorney of San Mateo County Steve Wagstaffe announced on March 1 that he found four deputy sheriffs and a sheriff’s sergeant did not violate any California penal code law when they killed Chinedu Okobi with tasers on October 13, 2018. This is despite the fact that the coroner classified the death as a homicide.

Top photo: Rapid-response rally, following the DA's announcement, on the site where Chinedu Okobi was murdered.
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John Burris, a civil-rights attorney representing taser victim Chinedu Okobi’s family, said yesterday that law enforcement actions needlessly escalated after their loved one committed only a minor infraction. Anti police brutality activists who viewed video footage released by the DA's office yesterday said that Okobi appeared to be jaywalking and deputies had been ordered to enforce jaywalking laws more strictly due to recent pedestrian collisions in the area. Burris stated that the lawsuit he will file on behalf of the family will force the sheriff’s office to examine taser policy, hopefully leading to changes.

At a county public study session to examine tasers and local policies governing their use last month, activists called for a moratorium on the weapons. Some speakers at the session called for a state investigation into Okobi’s death and the establishment of a civilian oversight committee for the sheriff’s office. Shortly after the DA announced his decision Friday, demonstrators rallied near the site of Okobi’s murder. This time, in addition to all of the above demands, they added the following: A recall of District Attorney Wagstaffe.

Also on Friday, the San Mateo County sheriff’s office said that it has no plans to stop using tasers. Video of police interaction with Okobi when he was killed, some of it redacted by the DA, and written conclusions of that office are in the link here.

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