Story and photo by Kris Hooks
Nearly 100 protesters from Black Lives Matter Sacramento lined the sidewalk on the corner of Del Paso Boulevard and Arden Way Wednesday night hoisting signs in the air and chanting “No justice, no peace.”
The protest comes just one day after the Sacramento Police Department released video and audio evidence from an officer-involved killing of a mentally ill black man in the summer.
Joseph Mann, 50, was fatally shot July 11 by Sacramento police officers, minutes after two neighbors called 911 to report a man acting erratically, walking around with a knife and gun in his waistband.
For weeks, local activist groups pressured Sacramento City Council in hopes that video evidence would be released. On Tuesday, SPD released surveillance video from a nearby storefront and three separate dash cam videos from patrol cars, as well as audio from dispatch and two 911 calls.
The Mann family, backed by their attorneys, local activists and church leaders, held a press conference early Wednesday morning to address the video evidence.
“This was a flat-out comply or die scenario,” said Mann family attorney John Burris. “That is the part that is most disturbing, because the tape that was police yesterday only confirms what we believed had happened—that Mr. Mann was not a threat to police officers.”
Burris also expressed his frustrations that the videos were released to public before the Mann family could view them.
Hours before SPD released the evidence, The Sacramento Bee obtained and posted a copy of the surveillance video from a storefront on Del Paso Boulevard on its website.
Mann’s brother, Robert Mann, said that after watching the video, it was clear to him that the police officers had time to use other means to handle the situation without it escalating to death.
“[The police] lied flat-out to me,” Robert said. “They told me my brother was aggressive, my brother was threatening police officers and he was coming at them. And that they had no time to make any decision other than to shoot my brother.”
The family of Dazion Flenaugh, a 40-year-old black man killed by Sacramento police officers in April, was also present at the press conference. Flenaugh’s brother, Damon Flenuagh, told media that police have still not given his family information about his brother’s death.
“It’s just beyond disrespectful that they ain’t gave us nothing,” Damon said, fighting back tears. “They took my brother away … It’s not enough for [the officers] to be fired, they need to be indicted.”
There was no visible police presence Wednesday night as protesters rallied just blocks from where Mann was gunned down.