Murder Charges Demanded For 2 Sacramento Police Officers

Reuters/Joe Penney

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The family of a man shot by Sacramento police demanded that two officers face murder charges after dash camera footage reveals the officers planning to run him down.

According to the family’s lawyer, the two officers “behaved like big game hunters closing in on an animal,” reports The Associated Press.

Police shot Joseph Mann July 11 after responding to calls about a man waving a knife in the air and carrying a gun in his waistband. Callers also said that the man appeared to be mentally ill.

Dash cam footage shows police officers John Tennis and Randy Lozoya saying “I’m going gonna hit him” and “okay, go for it.” It then appears that the officers tried to drive the car twice into Mann.

The officers got out of the car and approached Mann, who can be heard saying that he was not carrying a gun. They pursued him and shot Mann 14 times.

Mann’s family said that he suffered from mental illness and drug addiction.

“Here we have the mindset of the officers. We have the officers saying clearly what’s on their minds,” John Burris, the family’s lawyer, said. “You don’t get to shoot somebody because they don’t drop the knife if they are 27 feet away!”

Burris also wrote a letter to the U.S. District Attorney’s office, asking it to investigate using the car as a weapon and to prosecute the two officers with federal criminal civil rights violations.

Sacramento police spokesman Matthew McPhail said that police officers are “encouraged to assess each circumstance and think critically about the tools at their disposal.”

“It doesn’t service anybody’s interest with the public or the city, even the officers themselves or the family of the deceased, to have any sort of determination to be made before the investigation is complete,” McPhail said.

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