#SayHisName Chinedu Okobi Killed by Police Remembered as ‘Gentle Soul’

A California community is searching for answers after a black man was killed after an encounter with police.

According to published reports, Chinedu Valentine Okobi stopped breathing while in the custody of the San Mateo County sheriff deputies on Oct. 3 following reports that he was running in and out of traffic in Millbrae, near San Francisco.

Okobi who’s sister, Ebele Okobi, revealed he suffered from mental issues, reportedly attacked an officer who responded to the scene, leading to him being tased.

His sister called her brother “smart, funny, hard-working and incredibly kind” in an emotional Facebook post on Oct. 8.

“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,” wrote Ebele.

Activist Shaun King took to Instagram on Monday and posted tributes to Okobi, calling to humanize him with love before the police attempted to vilify him once the full story is released.

“This is our brother Chinedu Okobi with his beautiful daughter, Christina. He loved her so much. Like the daughters of Eric Garner and John Crawford and Jeffrey Dennis and Walter Scott and so many other thousands of Black men who’ve been killed by police in this country, she no longer has a father on this earth. The loss is immeasurable. All day today I will be telling Chinedu’s story on my timeline. Please comment and share and spread this story. We want to humanize Chinedu before the police do otherwise.”

In an exclusive statement to EBONY, King revealed that he knew Okobi after meeting him at Morehouse College. King, who served as Morehouse’s student government president when Okobi attended, said the man did poetry, rap, and spoken word and was a “gentle soul” who was proud to be from the Bay area, despite originally being from Nigeria. He added that his death sheds light on how Black people are treated by the police.

“The family hasn’t really gotten any information at all from the local sheriff’s office,” said King. “One of the things that happen when someone is killed by police, their entire humanity is defined by what happened the moment we died. [The family knows] like I know that Black men and women are routinely treated one way, in what otherwise should be a routine encounter. The family is devastated.”

The San Mateo sheriff’s office confirmed that an investigation is ongoing and the case was handed to the district attorney’s office. The five deputies involved in the incident were placed on paid leave pending the results of the investigation.

The post #SayHisName Chinedu Okobi Killed by Police Remembered as ‘Gentle Soul’ appeared first on The Source.

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