AP NEWS

California deputies cleared in unarmed man’s stun gun death

March 1, 2019

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — Northern California prosecutors on Friday cleared five sheriff’s deputies of criminal wrongdoing over their struggle with an unarmed man who died last year after he was shocked with a stun gun.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaff said the deputies’ response in October to reports of Chinedu Valentine Okobi, 36, running in and out of traffic was reasonable.

“This is not a case where I am trying to put any blame on Mr. Okobi,” Wagstaffe told reporters. “This was a tragic event and I don’t want to do anything to demonize these deputies or Mr. Okobi in any manner.”

The highly charged case was the third stun gun death of a suspect in the suburban San Francisco Bay area county in 2018.

Investigators have said Okobi attacked an arriving deputy, who called for help.

Four more deputies arrived and one shocked him with a stun gun. Okobi stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Okobi’s family dispute that account and argue that he was walking legally on the sidewalk.