On Monday morning, Robert Mann stood in the grass of an empty lot on Del Paso Boulevard, trying, as raindrops began to fall, to find the right words to describe his disgust with the “renegade police” who tried to run over his younger brother, Joseph. Failing, they shot him, 14 times.
“This disgraces the oath that you took,” he spat into a bank of microphones.
It’s hard to begrudge Mann his anger. Thanks to enhanced audio from dashcam videos that the Sacramento Police Department never wanted to release in the first place, we now know the despicable details of how Joseph Mann, mentally ill and holding a knife, died in July.
Officers John Tennis and Randy Lozoya tried to hit him with their cruiser – not once but twice. They sped onto the scene, interrupting the efforts of other officers who had been trying to de-escalate the situation.
“I’m going to hit him,” the driver said, according to court papers. “OK, go for it,” his partner responded. When that didn’t work, they chased Mann on foot.
“We’ll get him,” one said.
Within a few seconds, they had fired 18 rounds, striking him 14 times.
So now, in addition to suing the city, the Mann family has taken the extraordinary step of asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case and the Police Department as a whole.