Friday, September 23, 2016

"As Is Standard In Police Involved Shootings..."

Sacramento Police Department issued a false narrative -- a series of lies in other words -- in defense of two of their officers shooting and killing a homeless mentally ill man named Joseph Mann on a main street in North Sacramento last July.

Citizen video contradicted the police narrative almost right out of the gate, but the clincher was the recent release of surveillance video that clearly showed two officers running up to Mann -- and executing him on the spot, from about 20-30 feet away, in a fusillade of bullets, while he was standing still, not "lunging" at them at all, but seeming to question why they were running up to him.

The Sacramento police lied, and they have maintained their lies until today, insisting that their narrative is correct and one should not believe one's lying eyes. Nevertheless, the police chief has announced his retirement (effective in December), and I'm told the two officers who ran up to and killed Mr. Mann are (supposedly) going to be fired.

I would recommend that these officers be fired and prosecuted for murder 2 or manslaughter, but that's unlikely to take place due to the many layers of legal protection police have in performance of their duty.

Apparently part of the duty of modern police is the summary execution of disobedient Negroes, homeless or mentally ill men in crisis, and/or any "armed" Negro whatever. Whether actually armed or not. Doesn't matter.

It is then part of their duty to lie about what they have done, and it is part of the duty of their commanders to back up the lies to the bitter end if need be.

The lies in this case are stark and obvious, while they are not quite so clear in other instances of police killing.

This is the tissue of lies SPD spun on July 11, 2016, the day of the incident, as published in the Los Angeles Times:

A man was fatally shot by two Sacramento police officers Monday morning after he acted “really crazy” and charged the office[r]s with a knife, police said.
The man, who was in his 50s or 60s, was spotted about 9:25 a.m. waving a knife in the 1100 block of Lochbrae Road when police were called to investigate, according to Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein. 
Callers complained to a police dispatcher that the man was not making sense and was behaving irrationally. 
When the first officer arrived on the scene, the man charged at him, prompting the officer to lock himself in his police cruiser. The officer called for backup and tried to leave the area, but the man walked around the police cruiser and blocked it with his body.
When two backup officers arrived, the man with a knife took off running. The officers began chasing him on foot, and one of them suffered a non-life-threatening injury to his lower body during the pursuit, according to police. 

Heinlein said the man refused to comply with the officers’ commands and acted “really crazy.”
When the officers approached the man, he turned around and charged at them, Heinlein said. At that moment, both officers fired their weapons, striking the man. 
The man was taken to an area hospital, where he died later Monday morning. The injured officer remained in the hospital for treatment. 
The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. The Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County district attorney’s office and Office of Policing Accountability are investigating the shooting. Police recovered a knife at the scene, officials said.
Heinlein said the incident happened rapidly.
“This is a very quick evolving situation that occurred,” he said.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, but their police cruisers were equipped with dash cams, which filmed the incident. Officials were reviewing the video footage on Monday, Heinlein said.
So far, only 30 officers who work bike patrol in downtown Sacramento have been fitted with body cameras as part of a pilot program, he said.
Although body cameras haven’t been made available to all officers, the police department hopes to expand the program.

I've highlighted the lies. As shown in the videos which were later released from a civilian, from dash cams, and from a surveillance camera, Mr. Mann never "charged at" police during the entire incident and pursuit. He instead tries to get away from them, or failing that, tries to make them go away. He is clearly having a mental health episode, perhaps aggravated by illicit substances, and he does act "crazy" at various times during the pursuit.

The officer in the first patrol car is not "blocked" by Mr. Mann from leaving the area although Mr. Mann does cross in front of his vehicle (in a crosswalk no less!!). The officer does not try to leave the area. Instead, he follows Mr. Mann at a discreet distance, shouting at him through the loudspeaker to "drop the knife." Whether Mr. Mann has a knife or is brandishing one during this slow speed pursuit is difficult to tell from the video, but assuming he did have a knife in his hand, he is not threatening anyone with it. He is clearly attempting to get away from the officer pursuing him.

At this point, it is necessary to note that the first dashcam video starts out in a very fancy neighborhood of Sacramento called Woodlake where Mr. Mann is walking on the sidewalk near some very expensive and fashionable real estate. It's as if he were strolling around Beverly Hills or Bel Air.

Apart from being black and possibly carrying a knife and acting "strange" Mr. Mann shows no threatening behavior during the initial contact with  police. He does not, however, obey.

There is no "foot chase" at all. Instead, officers arrive in some numbers following Mr. Mann's attempts to get away from the initial officer following him at a discreet distance and issuing orders over his loudspeaker. All the arriving officers stay in their vehicles. Mr. Mann picks up something from the median of Del Paso Blvd. and throws it at the first police car, but what it is is impossible to tell.

Other police cars attempt to surround and contain Mr. Mann as he darts from one side of the street to the other. Finally, he runs along a sidewalk on the south side of Del Paso Blvd (I'm familiar with the area because I lived there at one time), stopping to catch his breath at one point, then continuing on, as two officers on foot, guns drawn, confront him beside a brick building. They do not chase him, they run up to him. They  are at least 20 and possibly 30 feet away. Mr. Mann stands still, raises his arm as if to say "go away", and the officers open fire. Mr. Mann falls, they continue firing, striking him 14 times.

Other officers then arrive on foot. One appears to kick the body as Mr. Mann lay dying on the sidewalk.

If any officer was "injured" it's not visible in any of the video released, and later stories did not mention any injured officer.

The incident does not unfold rapidly. In fact, it takes several minutes, and unfolds quite slowly and deliberately -- that is until the point that the two officers run up and shoot Mr. Mann to death. That occurs within seconds.

The police narrative was filled with falsehoods. False narratives are Standard Protocol in police involved shootings all over the country, however, as we've over and over and over again.

Here is some video which contradict SPD's lies:

1) Video taken by a witness released August 5, 2016

This video contradicts the police narrative, but because it's shaky and distant, it is hard to be sure what is going on.

2) This is a surveillance video obtained and released by the Sacramento Bee on September 19, 2016

It clearly shows two officers running up to Mann and shooting him within a second or so of arrival

3) This is the first of three dashcam videos of the incident released on September 20, 2016 by the Sacramento Police Department

It demonstrates the lies in the initial police narrative

4) This is the second dashcam video released by SPD

5) And this is the third dashcam video released by SPD

Police all over the country lie with impunity about many things, but because of all the attention focused on police killings especially, it is a wonder that they continue to like about the killing of black and brown men in particular, when the truth is so relatively evident in so many videos.

SPD felt forced to release these videos, despite the fact that they contradicted the official story, in part because of the early release of the surveillance video which showed the execution of Joseph Mann with little or no filter.

Whether justice will eventually be served, who can say. But for now at least some of the public interest is being served.

No comments:

Post a Comment