According to recently released dashcam video from a July altercation, two Sacramento, Calif., police officers attempted to run over an African-American homeless man—twice—before they shot and killed him in a hail of bullets.
The Sacramento Bee reports that one of the officers said, “[F—k] this guy” in the final minute before they shot Joseph Mann. Moments later, the driver said, “I’m going to hit him.”
“OK. Go for it. Go for it,” his partner responded.
The Bee reports that Officers Randy Lozoya and John Tennis gunned their vehicle toward Mann during the July 11 incident, backed up, turned and then drove toward him again, based on dashcam video released by police. They stopped the car, ran toward Mann on foot and shot him 14 times. He was obviously running away from them.
After a private citizen gave news outlets video of the incident, police released dashcam video Sept. 20 and called a news conference that day.
The Sacramento News and Review reports that the videos seem to contradict the department’s initial statement that its officers resorted to lethal force only after de-escalation tactics failed.
Lozoya and Tennis are currently on “modified duty,” according to a police spokesman.
Dispatchers told officers that Mann was seen with a knife and a gun. Police have never reported finding a gun.
In the dashcam video from the car used by Lozoya and Tennis, the officers attempt to hit Mann as he crosses a side street but miss him. The car screeches, reverses and then turns onto a street to continue the pursuit.
In the next audible clip, an officer says, “We’ll get him. We’ll get him.” They stop the car, exit and then chase Mann on foot. Seconds later they fired 18 shots at Mann, hitting him with 14. Their gunfire is heard on the dashcam video.
A toxicology report found methamphetamine in Mann’s system.
The Sacramento City Council will propose a use-of-force policy designed to restrict lethal force, which will be debated Oct. 13. Other council members are calling for quicker release of video in police shootings, greater powers for a civilian oversight commission and other reforms.
“They are officers that shouldn’t be in uniform,” said Robert Mann, Joseph Mann’s brother, according to the Bee. “If this is their state of mind when they go to work, this doesn’t serve anyone well.”
Both officers are named as defendants in a federal lawsuit filed last month against the city by Mann’s relatives, according to the Sacremento News and Review. The lawsuit says that Mann displayed “overt signs of being in the midst of mental crisis” and officers should not have used lethal force—including a car—against him.
The Bee notes that the incident occurred four days after a sniper shot five police officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas.