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, Africa—was 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.
Outraged to hear about the killing of Chinedu Okobi. A Nigerian-American brother, father, son, poet and friend to m… https://t.co/HNLXNZ8Jkx— Opal Tometi #BlackLivesMatter (@Opal Tometi #BlackLivesMatter) 1539469546.0
TW anti-black police violence We mourn, and rage, the death of fellow poet Chinedu Okobi, murdered by CA police. T… https://t.co/yKfzgiAfCV— Lev Mirov (semi-hiatus) (@Lev Mirov (semi-hiatus)) 1539501027.0
#justice4chinedu Nigerian-American man tased to death - not tased until unconscious or tased to subdue - tased to *… https://t.co/Cxins71QDt— Jaci & Tori✨ (@Jaci & Tori✨) 1539535140.0
Chinedu Okobi was my friend Ebele's brother -- a real person, a full human being, and not a statistic. No one shoul… https://t.co/q2r4W2BYmf— Christine Chen (@Christine Chen) 1539510535.0
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.