Lawyer: Calif. Officers Who Killed Fleeing Black Man Should Face Murder Charges

The two Sacramento, Calif., police officers can be heard on dashcam video talking about running over 51-year-old Joseph Mann.

Joseph Mann
Joseph Mann Twitter

A lawyer for the family of a black man who was fleeing police called Monday for the two Sacramento, Calif., police officers who killed him to be charged with murder, Reuters reports.

John Burris, the lawyer, told Reuters in a phone interview that dashcam video released last week suggests that the officers who shot and killed 51-year-old Joseph Mann on July 11 had already decided to hurt him before they got out of their cruiser and fired at him, hitting him 14 times.

In the video, the officers can be heard talking about running down Mann, who was running away from them, with their squad car.

In the video, the patrol car is seen driving toward Mann, who was fleeing on foot. One officer can be heard saying, “I’m going to hit him,” while the other responds, “Go for it.”

The patrol car can be seen veering toward Mann twice before Mann is gunned down.

The Sacramento Bee obtained footage from the encounter.

According to Reuters, Sacramento police said that the officers were responding to emergency calls about a man armed with a gun and a knife. Mann reportedly had only a knife on him at the time of his death.

Burris and Mann’s family say that Mann was mentally ill.

“It is as much of an execution as I’ve ever seen in a police case, and there should be ramifications for that,” Burris said at a news conference Monday night, calling for murder charges in the case.

Burris said that he has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for a federal investigation.

Burris said that the two officers, John Tennis and Randy Lazoya, are white. However, Sacramento City Attorney Jim Sanchez declined to confirm their race.

A criminal review of the shooting is currently being conducted by the Sacramento District Attorney.

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