Dashcam video released by the police department of California capital city Sacramento shows two police officers attempting to run over Joseph Mann, a clearly distressed black man with mental illness, with their squad car before eventually shooting him 14 times in July, undercutting the police department's previous claims that police only took lethal action as a last resort. “I’m going to hit him," veteran cop Randy Lozoya, driving, says in the video. “OK. Go for it. Go for it,” his partner John Tennis responds. The videos were obtained by the Sacramento News & Review.
Much like the Laquan McDonald shooting, police who initially arrived at the scene responding to reports of a man behaving erratically treated Mann appropriately, slowly following him in their squad car after ascertaining he didn't have a gun and ordering him to drop a pocket knife he was holding. Then, after seeing Mann running across a street, Lozoya and Tennis speed in their squad car towards Mann, with the apparent intent of trying to run him down. The two officers get out of their car and begin chasing Mann, who stops and gestures at them with the knife twice. The officers, about 15 feet from Mann, though they faced no immediate threat from him, opened fire, shooting 18 times and hitting him 14. Previously released video from a bystander shows the shooting in full.
The Sacramento Police Department, one of the least diverse in the country, previously claimed that Mann was acting "really crazy" and charged at officers before being shot. Mann's family told CBS Sacramento they were disappointed the SPD, which had refused to release the dashcam videos since the shooting in July, released the videos to the public before allowing the family to view them first. Previous reports by the News & Review have revealed that Lozoya has once been stripped of his firearm after a domestic dispute with his wife, and that Tennis has two previous civilian complaints against him—one for excessive force. Both officers are currently on "modified duty," a police spokesperson told the Sacramento Bee. Mann's family has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against both officers and the city.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.