SAN MATEO COUNTY (KPIX) — Faced with growing public pressure, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday agreed to hire an outside expert to help investigate the death of a man who was repeatedly tasered by Sheriff’s deputies during an October incident in Millbrae.
36-year-old Chinedu Okobi died on October 3 after a run-in with five San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies. The deputies claimed Okobi was acting erratically, running in and out of traffic before attacking a female officer.
“There was no reason for them to use a taser. He was not a threat to himself. He was not a threat to them. He was not violent. So, the fact that they used a Taser was already against policy,” said Ebele Okobi, Chinedu’s sister who spoke to KPIX via Skype from London.
Ebele, a Facebook executive, said she was allowed to view roughly 30 minutes of video from officer body-worn cameras, cell phones and dashboard cameras that captured the incident. She says her brother never threatened or attacked the officers and believes their use of force was not justified.
She shared her concerns on social media, hoping to bring renewed attention to her brother’s death.
“If there was a reason for him to be stopped, certainly there is no reason for him to be tasered to death,” said Rev. Penny Nixon of the Congregational Church of San Mateo.
Nixon saw Ebele’s Facebook post and helped organize religious leaders and community activists. They packed a meeting of the Board of Supervisors Tuesday where dozens offered emotional testimony demanding the immediate release of all videos and 911 recordings in the case.
The district attorney’s office says hiring an outside expert will likely add an additional month or two to their investigation.