Former New Orleans Saints star Ekom Udofia has been killed by police officers in Phoenix, Arizona back. According to ABC 15, the Phoenix Police Department released footage of the shooting ostensibly to keep the powder dry inside the public powder keg that exists surrounding any and all police shootings of Black people.
The 33-year-old Nigerian-American was pulled over and when he stepped out of his vehicle, he was holding a pistol. The police officers can be heard begging and pleading with Udofia to put down the firearm so that they wouldn’t have to do what they ultimately ended up doing, shooting him dead. One cop is heard saying “Please, please don’t make me shoot you,” while another bleakly rationalized “Dude, I gotta shoot him.” Sadly, after Ekom was dead, it was discovered that the pistol-Esque weapon he was holding was a completely non-lethal BB gun just like gunned-down ER Vanessa Marquez actress.
Authorities say Ekom continued to inch forward towards the police as they begged for him to drop his firearm. Allegedly, the former NFL player did not say anything throughout the incident.
Udofia grew up in Scottsdale and had previously played football for Standford University. He spent a short time in the NFL playing with the New Orleans Saints. Sources say that when he moved back to the valley, things took a turn for the worst. Udofia was arrested several times. Court documents cited his mental health issues as a factor in his criminal activity.
Police Chief Andy Anderson says that he would like social workers and mental health professionals to step in and find a way to help people who are obviously having an episode before things get dangerous.
“Our medical community, our community as a whole needs to step up to do a better job providing help to people who are having mental health issues,” said Andy Anderson, a retired Phoenix assistant police chief.
“It’s too late to get a social worker involved when somebody has a gun in their hand,” said Anderson. “But there are other calls, and it’s going to come down to evaluating those calls and some kind of protocol that you put in place.”