Kids chant ‘I love cops’ during El Cajon protests

EL CAJON, Calif. – Protesters and law enforcement officers clashed again in El Cajon Monday after a makeshift memorial was removed from outside the strip mall where Alfred Olango was fatally shot during a confrontation last month with police.

Around 7:30 p.m., El Cajon police issued an advisory to motorists to avoid the vicinity of Broadway and North Mollison Avenue where the protest was taking place. Monday's demonstration and several others have been held in the commercial district a few blocks north of El Cajon Valley High School where Olango, a 38-year-old Ugandan immigrant, was shot on September 27.

Officers from several local law enforcement agencies, some in riot gear, were on the scene.

In the midst of Monday's demonstrations, one sheriff's deputy took time out to talk to neighborhood kids who were chanting, “I love cops!”

The deputy gave them high fives before letting them try on his helmet.

Earlier Monday, a dozen protesters who were arrested during a vigil for Olango on October 1 and the local NAACP chapter filed a lawsuit against the city, the El Cajon Police Department, the sheriff's department and the county, claiming civil rights violations, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. That demonstration had also been deemed an unlawful assembly, as had one two days prior.

"When defendants issued the order to disperse, there was no valid legal basis for declaring the assembly to be unlawful," the lawsuit said. "The dispersal order was solely due to the inconvenience to police officers of monitoring a peaceful vigil at midnight."

Olango's death sparked widespread protests, during which some demonstrators alleged the police shooting was unwarranted and racially motivated.

Police officials have countered that Olango, who was black, was uncooperative, repeatedly refused to remove his hand from his pocket, assumed "what appeared to be a shooting stance" and pointed an object that turned out to be a vape inhaler at one of the officers.