Chiewelthap Mariar: Angry Oklahoma pork factory worker shot dead by police after being fired

Workers at a pork processing plant in Oklahoma are shocked and outraged after a disgruntled immigrant worker from Sudan was shot and killed by police.

Chiewelthap Mariar, 26, a refugee from Sudan, was shot by police officers while working at the Seaboard Foods meatpacking plant in Guymon on January 9.

Guymon police were called to the plant to deal with an “irate and disgruntled employee,” the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

An employee of Mariar, who asked for anonymity, said The Guardian he was fired for filming parts of the incident on his mobile phone.

The eyewitness claimed Mariar was fired from her job by a supervisor that day and told to finish her shift.

He said Mariar was confronted by the supervisor on the shop floor and soon police arrived to escort him from the scene.

“I witnessed the whole thing, from when they started arguing with him until he was shot,” he told the newspaper.

“He had a company-issued tape cutter in his hand. When the police arrived at the facility, the guy was already working and minding his own business.”

In a statement, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said “produced a knife and began to advance toward officers.”

“Officers attempted to de-escalate the situation before eventually deploying a taser. The taser was unsuccessful and Mariar continued to advance toward officers, when one officer fired his service weapon, striking Mariar,” it added.

However, the eyewitness who also produced a video said he had a tape cutter in his hand as he worked before being escorted out.

“They made him look like a danger when they said he had a knife in his hand, when he didn’t. And it’s wrong on so many levels,” the worker said.

He said they were told to continue working and made to cover the scene with plastic.

“This company fired me for recording the truth they tried to brush under the rug. They never asked me if I was okay. It was the first time I saw a guy get killed — and then I got fired.”

A spokesperson for Seaboard Corporation, the parent company of Seaboard Foods, said in a statement: “Following the incident, operations were halted for the remainder of the evening and the following day, and we provided in-person counseling for employees throughout the week, in addition to ongoing telephone counseling services available 24 hours, seven days a week.”

Seaboard Foods said: “We express our deepest condolences to Chiewelthap Mariar’s family, colleagues, friends and those affected by his death following an incident at our processing facility in Guymon involving the Guymon Police Department on January 9”.

“Providing our employees with a safe working environment and their well-being is extremely important to us.”

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said it is investigating the shooting and agents will submit the report to the district attorney’s office.

The district attorney will decide whether charges should be brought against the officer involved.

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