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Family Demands Justice In Killing of Unarmed Nigerian-American Man Chinedu Valentine Okobi

Black lives matter.

Chinedu Valentine Okobi, a 36-year-old Nigerian-American man died on Wednesday, October 5 after being tasered by police officers in Northern California, the LA Times reports. Okobi was unarmed at the time of his killing.

Okobi, who suffered from mental illness—according to his sister, Ebele Okobi, Facebook's Head of Public Policy, Africawas reportedly running in and out of traffic in Millbrae, an area south of San Francisco, when he got into a "struggle" with an officer who approached him, says San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Four other cops were called in, and one shot a Taser gun at Okobi as he was being taken into custody. Okobi was later taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.


The sheriff's office has yet to release the names of the officers involved in Okobi's killing. According to The Mercury News, they've been put on paid leave and an investigation into the incident and cause of Okobi's death will take around 10 weeks.

Okobi's sister, Ebele, shared a heartfelt message on Facebook in remembrance of her brother, describing him as a genuine soul who strived to lead a "good and kind" life despite battling a mental illness. "His name is now one of too many names," she wrote. "Chinedu Valentine Okobi. He was a person. He was my little brother, he was a father, he was loved. Now he is gone, and our hearts are broken."

His sister also shared that a memorial is being held in his honor on Tuesday, October 16 in San Fransisco.

Family, friends, activists and supporters are actively demanding justice for the father, brother, friend and poet—another black life lost to the epidemic of rampant police brutality in the U.S.





In a series of Instagram posts, activist and writer Shaun King shared Chinedu's story, asking for support from the general public in boosting the story and finding justice. Read his words below.




(YouTube)

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It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

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