SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on the fatal Sacramento police shooting of a suspect in July (all times local):
An attorney representing two Sacramento, California, police officers says they acted reasonably when they fatally shot a knife-wielding, mentally disturbed black man in July.
Judith Odbert said in a lengthy statement Tuesday that the officers were protecting the community against an imminent threat.
She says officers John Tennis and Randy Lozoya first tried to knock 50-year-old Joseph Mann off his feet with their patrol car, not kill him. They later left the car and shot Mann 14 times.
An attorney representing Mann’s relatives has called for a federal civil rights investigation and said the two officers should be charged with murder.
Legal experts say a dashboard camera recording of two California police officers discussing hitting a suspect with their police car does not make it more likely that they will face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of the man that ended the encounter.
Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, said Tuesday the officers may have reasonably feared for their lives or public safety, justifying any possible decision to use their vehicle to hit the man.
Jonathan Blanks, a researcher at the Cato Institute, said police have leeway in the use of lethal force.
Sacramento police have said the man police shot and killed, Joseph Mann, was waving a knife.
The officers can be heard on the recording saying, “I’m gonna hit him” and “OK, go for it.”
Mann’s family wants prosecutors to charge the officers with murder.