Several months ago, on July 11, 2016, the Sacramento Police Department was called to a neighborhood by multiple 911 callers regarding a crazy guy running around threatening people with a weapon. Some callers said he had a knife, and at least one thought he had a gun. Officers arrived and engaged the man, who continued acting crazy, brandished a knife at the officers and threatened them. This went on for a while, during which the subject charged at officers and innocent bystanders several times. The subject would not cooperate, would not drop the knife, would not stop running around, thereby not only putting the officers in danger, but also the general, unsuspecting public in the area. Officers eventually stopped the threat by shooting the man. The entire incident was captured on video from multiple sources. The man was a transient with a long history of mental issues and drug abuse.
Family members, who had ignored their mentally ill homeless family member for years, suddenly came out of the woodwork demanding to know why the cops shot their much beloved (albeit totally ignored) family member. As one has come to expect, they immediately sought the assistance of an attorney rather than wait for the investigation to be completed, or for the district attorney to render a decision on whether or not charges would be filed.
Family members and their dutiful attorney demanded the video be released. The video showed exactly what the cops said it would show, but the family and liberal politicians had a conniption when they listened to the in-car video of the officers who ended up shooting the suspect. As the officers were nearing the scene, one of them said they should hit the suspect with their car.
OH MY GOD!!!! What did they just say? Hold the phone, stop the presses, yell and scream like a lunatic while waving your arms in the air… Hit him with a car?????
Yes, hit him with the freaking car!
Lethal force is lethal force. If lethal force is justified, it matters not whether it with a gun, a knife or the front bumper of a patrol car. In fact, as an EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) instructor, our California POST provided driver training simulator includes a scenario where the student is encouraged to use their vehicle to stop an armed, fleeing felon who is shooting at them. Yes, we actually train the academy recruits and anyone who takes the simulator class to run over an armed subject with their patrol car. And that simulator scenario is a California POST approved scenario.
Now here we are, nearly seven months later, the investigation is completed and today, the District Attorney’s office released their decision: lethal force was legally justified and the cops will face no criminal charges. In fact, they DA released their entire report, including a very long statement of all of the facts. You can read the whole thing here, but the following excerpt sums it up nicely.
There is no doubt that Officers Tennis and Lozoya were dealing with a very dangerous individual who posed an immediate threat to the officers and the public. Joseph Mann was acting aggressively while under the influence of methamphetamine. He exhibited a deadly weapon in a rude and angry manner at multiple civilians and appeared to them to also be carrying a firearm. He slashed his knife in the direction of officers and threatened to use it to cause them bodily harm. He ran aggressively at an officer holding his knife in a threatening manner. He repeatedly refused commands to stop and disarm himself. While attempting to escape from pursuing officers, he ran directly in front of multiple businesses into which he could have easily entered and harmed others. When he finally stopped, he was holding his knife in a menacing manner and turned directly towards officers who were in close proximity trying to disarm and arrest him. Considering the totality of these circumstances, and the rapid decision the officers were forced to make because of the immediate danger to themselves and the public that Mann presented, Officers Tennis and Lozoya acted lawfully in using deadly force.
Officers Tennis and Lozoya were justified in shooting Mann to defend themselves and each other, to protect the public from imminent harm, and to prevent the escape of a suspected felon who posed a significant threat of death or serious bodily injury to others. Their conduct under these circumstances was lawful. Accordingly, we will take no further action in this matter.
If you have a different opinion, I highly encourage you to read the entire report, and then put yourself in those officer’s shoes.
After the DA’s office released their report, ultra liberal democrat Darrell Steinberg, the recently elected mayor of Sacramento, the city where this shooting occurred, released a statement that just proves what a bloviating jackass he is. Notice how he starts by saying how much he appreciates and respects the cops, BUT then goes on at length to say how he disagrees with them and how they are bad.
“I have enormous respect for the men and women of the Sacramento Police Department. But what unfolded with Joseph Mann is extremely tragic, unacceptable, and we are reminded of that again today with the District Attorney’s decision.
As Mayor, I am committed to ensuring we leave no stone unturned as we look back on what happened. It is why I will be laser focused on the results of the ongoing internal investigation. If the internal investigation concludes officers were following policy, then it is past time for us to change those policies. There must be accountability.
What else can we do to take responsibility – to show a demonstrable difference – to reconcile outdated policies and practices with where the true heart and culture of our police department and City stands with our community?
This is one of my top priorities and why City Council voted unanimously to pay for 40 hours of comprehensive crisis intervention training for our entire police department during our third meeting.
It is our responsibility and moral imperative to have the best trained, equipped and supported community police to protect all of our citizens and community at large. We should accept nothing less and I will work to ensure we are a city that supports the men and women in uniform so they can support all of us.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “everything before the BUT is bullshit?” This is a quick read and it explains why Steinberg’s public statement shows he has ZERO respect for his own police force, or for the legal decisions rendered by the District Attorney’s office, but would you expect anything different from a democrat politician, especially one in California?