THE family of a homeless, mentally-ill black man who was shot 12 times in the street say police should face murder charges. But officers are telling a very different story.
Sacramento Police responded to reports that Joseph Mann, 51, was behaving erratically. In dash-cam footage from inside an officer’s vehicle, Mr Mann can be seen throwing an object at one police car and running across lanes of traffic.
Police can be heard saying “F**k this guy” and “I’m going to hit him” as he runs along the footpath.
This is where the stories differ. Police say Mr Mann had a knife and was acting in a threatening manner — doing karate moves — when officers unloaded their weapons. In the footage, 12 shots ring out.
But a lawyer for the family of Mr Mann says officers “behaved like big game hunters closing in on an animal” on July 11. The footage has only just been released.
WARNING, GRAPHIC: Seen from police dashcam footage, Sacramento police officers attempt to run down a homeless man then shoot him twelve times killing him at the scene.
“Mann was standing stationary on a sidewalk with no one in close proximity when the officers unloaded their guns,” John Burris wrote in a letter to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“It’s disgusting,” he told The Guardian. “It raises the question that this might have been a deliberate, premeditated murder, that they intended to do what they did.”
The officers who shot Mr Mann have been identified as Randy Lozoya and John Tennis. Sacramento City Attorney James Sanchez declined to comment on whether police were aware of what Mr Tennis and Mr Lozoya said in the car, AP reported.
The Sacramento District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the recordings.
Family members said Mr Mann was a university graduate and loved politics and economics but had been struggling with a drug addiction and began living on the streets shortly before July.
Toxicology tests revealed Mr Mann had methamphetamine in his system the day he died, police said.