Shocking dashcam footage released by the Sacramento Police Department shows that two police officers attempted to run over mentally ill Joseph Mann with their patrol car before they shot and killed him.
The shooting occurred on July 11, 2016, after police received a call from residents that a man was acting erratically. Dispatchers reportedly told officers that Mann, 50, was armed with a knife and gun, but police did not find a gun on him after he was shot and killed. However, he was armed with a knife.
Mann told the first officers that arrived in a patrol car that he did not have a gun, The Sacramento Bee reports.
“Get your hands up and get on the ground,” an officer is heard saying in the dashcam footage obtained from the patrol car that first arrived at the scene. “They said you had a gun. Get on the ground.”
“I don’t have a gun,” Mann responded.
“Get on the ground. Get on the ground,” the officer repeated.
Mann did not comply. He began walking away from the officers who followed him in their car as he walked toward Del Paso Boulevard, shouting threats and throwing a thermos flask at the police car.
The officers repeatedly told him to stop and drop his knife but he did not comply.
Two police officers, identified as Randy Lozoya and John Tennis, eventually decided to stop him by hitting him with their patrol car as he tried to cross the street.
“F**k this guy,” one of the officers can be heard saying in the footage as they pursued Mann.
“I’m going to hit him,” the driver said.
“OK. Go for it. Go for it,” his partner urged.
As Mann crossed the street, the officer drove his vehicle toward him with the intention of running him over but missed. Cursing, he reversed his car.
Tires screeched as he reversed and made a second attempt to hit Mann running across the street.
“Watch it! Watch it! Watch!”
The driver missed again.
“We’ll get him. We’ll get him.”
The driver stopped the car. He and his partner exited and began chasing Mann on foot. They opened fire with their guns as they chased him.
The officers fired 18 shots at Mann and hit him 14 times. They were about 27 feet away from the victim when they opened fire, The Sacramento Bee reports.
The gunshots can be heard in the video.
Police later claimed the officers shot him 14 times because he refused to cooperate and raised his knife. But his family said Mann behaved erratically and refused to comply with police orders because he was suffering a “mental health crisis” at the time.
The toxicology report found he had methamphetamine in his system.
The Sacramento Bee reports that it obtained the surveillance footage and released it on September 20 after a report by the Sacramento News and Review.
The Sacramento Bee had the audio of the footage enhanced as part of its investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
After The Sacramento Bee released the footage online, Sacramento police called a news conference and quickly released additional information about the shooting that included three dashcam footage (see YouTube videos above and below) and audio from two 911 calls.
Police spokesperson Bryce Heinlein said that officers Lozoya and Tennis had been placed on “modified duty.”
Local black leaders protested the shooting, saying the officers resorted needlessly to lethal force against the mentally ill homeless man.
After seeing the video and listening to the audio, Mann’s brother Robert condemned the officers.
“They (police) lied to me flat out – they told me my brother was aggressive,” Robert told Fox 40.
“They are officers that shouldn’t be in uniform,” he said. “If this is their state of mind when they go to work, this doesn’t serve anyone well.”
John Burris, the attorney representing Mann’s family, described the conduct of the officers as “cowboyish” and “outrageous.” He announced that the family had filed a federal lawsuit and a claim against the city.
He said the officers had no justification using their car as a lethal weapon because Mann posed no immediate or imminent threat to the officers or others.
Police spokesperson Heinlein acknowledged that officers receive training on how to use their vehicles as a lethal weapon but he was not aware of any training in the use of a vehicle as a non-lethal weapon.
“That is something we discuss in our use-of-force training, using a vehicle as a deadly weapon,” The Sacramento Bee reports he said.
The dashcam footage was released shortly after the shooting of Alfred Olango in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego.
According to reports, police had responded to calls from the victim’s sister that Olango was having a mental breakdown. But when the officers came they shot and killed him although he was not armed with a gun.
He held a vape electronic device in a shooting stance before officers fired at him (see video above).
[Image by Maciej Bledowski/Shutterstock]