Two Sacramento police officers attempted to run over a mentally ill homeless man with their car less than 35 seconds before they shot and killed him, according to recordings released by police, reports the Sacramento Bee. One of the officers says “f— this guy” in the frantic final minute before they shot Joseph Mann. Moments later, the driver says, “I’m going to hit him.” His partner responds, “OK. Go for it. Go for it.” The officers gunned their vehicle toward Mann, backed up, turned and then drove toward him again, based on dashcam video released by police. They stopped the car, ran toward Mann on foot and shot him 14 times. The July 11 incident prompted protest from religious and black leaders, who say the officers escalated the situation and unnecessarily resorted to lethal force.
The content of the dashcam audio was first reported by the Sacramento News and Review. The Bee reviewed the clip of officers Randy Lozoya and John Tennis after enhancing the audio to highlight their voices. The dashcam video was released Sept. 20 after The Sacramento Bee obtained surveillance footage from a private citizen that showed the officers shooting Mann. Within an hour of The Bee posting the footage online, Sacramento police called a news conference to release video from three dashboard cameras as well as audio from two 911 calls and other information. Lozoya and Tennis are currently on “modified duty,” says police spokesman Bryce Heinlein. “They are officers that shouldn’t be in uniform,” said Robert Mann, Joseph Mann’s brother, after learning the contents of the audio. “If this is their state of mind when they go to work, this doesn’t serve anyone well.”