At a press conference later that day, Ebele told reporters, “This should not stand. It shouldn't be that a human being can be violently killed, can be tortured to death, with absolute impunity."
Warren Metlitzky, an attorney for the county acknowledged, "the tragic nature" of Okobi's death in an emailed statement. He added that "the county intends to defend itself in federal court against these claims."
Civil rights attorney Adante Pointer represents Okobi’s mother, Maureen.
“It's pretty consistent that officers are not disciplined,” Pointer said. “They don't face any type of real backlash as it relates to employment, and very few are ever prosecuted in any way.”
Pointer said Okobi, like many other families, turned to the court to ensure accountability and to learn how their loved ones died.
In the complaint, attorneys allege that San Mateo County sheriff's deputies unlawfully detained and killed Okobi based on racial profiling.
Chinedu, a 300-pound African American man from Redwood City, was walking down a sidewalk on a busy street in downtown Millbrae in the afternoon when a deputy spotted him.
Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Wang told investigators with the district attorney’s office that when Okobi jaywalked across that street, he followed him in his car. Dash-cam video of the incident recorded Wang yelling out the window to Okobi to “hold up for a minute” and talk. When Okobi walked away, Wang called for backup.
Video from the patrol car shows that when Deputy Alyssa Lorenzatti first approached Okobi on foot, he held up his hands. When she put a hand on his shoulder, he shrugged it off and turned away from her. That’s when other deputies rushed in to grab him. During the following struggle, Wang shot him with a taser and he fell. When he tried to flee again one deputy pepper-sprayed him, and another hit him with a baton.