By Andre Jones
The family of Joseph Mann, a 51 year old Black man who was recently shot 14 times by Sacramento, California police officers is demanding that murder charges be brought against the officers after recently released dash cam video of the incident raised questions.
Mann, who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction, was allegedly standing in the middle of the street on July 11th, waving a knife according to 911 calls. Dispatchers informed police that Mann was armed with a knife and gun and was acting erratically. Though no gun was seen or recovered from the scene, Officers Randy Loyoza and John Tennis responded to the call by attempting to run over Mann twice, shooting him fatally a combined total of 14 times less than one minute later.
Though the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) alleged that Mann lunged at the officers, forcing them to open fire, dash cam video released on Tuesday clearly revealed them inside the police cruiser discussing running him down. Though it is not clear who said what, the officers were plainly heard saying, “F** this guy, I’m gonna hit him” and “Ok, go for it”. After missing Mann in a second attempted vehicular assault, one of the officers can be plainly heard saying, “We’ll get him. We’ll get him.”
“They (police) lied to me flat out – they told me my brother was aggressive, he was coming at officers and they had no time to make any other decision but to shoot my brother,” Robert Mann, Joseph’s brother, told Fox40. “We had been asking to see the video since the shooting, and the fact it was released to the media first tells me they don’t care,” said Robert.
John Burris, lawyer for the family of Joseph Mann, told reporters that the officers “behaved like big game hunters closing in on an animal” In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Burris wrote, “Mann was standing stationary on a sidewalk with no one in close proximity when the officers unloaded their guns.” Mann was also heard very clearly on the video saying that he did not have a gun, mere moments before his life was mercilessly cut short.
Though plenty of dash cam and cell phone videos of various police involved killings have surfaced, Kevin LaHue, a private attorney who has worked on many civil rights cases involving police tactics, told ABCNews.go.com that it was “extremely rare” to capture audio of the thought process of these officers.
“Having this sort of real-time insight into the thought process of the officers and their use of force, I think that is very unique,” said Lahue.