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Judge Orders Release of Body-Cam Footage of the Killing of Edward P. Manning

Judge Orders Release of Body-Cam Footage of the Killing of Edward P. ManningOn March 4, 2017, a security guard working at the Desert Premium Outlets on Seminole Drive in Cabazon found a man looking through a garbage bin for food. He asked the man to leave, which the man did. However, he returned shortly after to continue looking for food. As a result, mall security called the police. When the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department showed up at the scene, the man fled – running across the 10 Freeway and into an open field. The deputies chased after him.

In the midst of the chase, Deputy George Scott pulled out his gun and shot at the fleeing man a total of 15 times – four of which were after the man had fallen to the ground – striking him twice in the back and once in the leg.

That man’s name is Edward Paul Manning, III, and he was killed by the police at just 26 years old.

For four years, the Riverside County Sheriff has kept this body camera footage confidential and responded with threats when attorneys John Taylor and Peter Reagan sought to release the video to the public. Ultimately, Judge Daniel Ottolia ordered the confidentiality designation to be removed and for the video to be released. At a press conference on February 11, Taylor and Reagan showed the video, which depicts the final moments of Edward Manning’s life. You can see the video in this report by NBC Los Angeles, but we strongly advise discretion.

Why did the police kill Edward Paul Manning?

We don’t know. As John Taylor said in a press release, “Mr. Manning was unarmed, nonviolent, and was running away when the deputy repeatedly shot him in the back. Edward wasn’t a threat to any deputy. He needed help, but instead the deputies escalated the situation and killed him.”

In the body camera footage, you can hear Deputy Scott yell “let me see your hands” repeatedly while Manning fled before him. After Manning collapses, KTLA reports, you hear him say, “I can’t see his hands, he’s pointing something at me.”

One wonders: if you cannot see a person’s hands, how would you know something was being pointed at you? And what was that alleged “something”? No weapons were recovered and you can hear Deputy Scott say, “Hand’s empty; hand is empty!” immediately after the shooting.

Manning never attacked the mall security or the deputies who responded. He was running away when he was shot in the back. Deputy Scott first fired his weapon 11 times. Once Manning was down, the footage shows that he tried to sit up and then collapsed a second time. Deputy Scott then fired four more times.

Was Edward Manning killed because he fled? Police refuse to comment because of the ongoing litigation, but as Peter Reagan explained, the Department fought hard to keep this footage secret: “In public, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department claims to embrace transparency, but behind closed doors the department fights to keep evidence like this video from coming to light. They preach transparency in public but encourage secrecy in private.”

Here is what we do know: Edward Paul Manning is dead, but Deputy Scott is still working in law enforcement, allegedly at another agency.

What happens next for Edward Manning’s family?

There are two “branches” to the justice system: the criminal branch and the civil branch. No criminal charges have been announced and Deputy Scott remains employed as a law enforcement officer. While public outrage has spurred investigation into police misconduct around in the nation, it remains little more than optimism that the same will be true in this case.

Taylor & Ring’s attorneys practice in the civil branch of the justice system, through which the 7th Amendment guarantees a trial by jury. John Taylor and Peter Reagan are representing Manning’s family in a civil lawsuit against Riverside County, claiming damages for his wrongful death. As a firm that routinely handles police brutality claims, often involving deadly police shootings, we are well aware that no amount of damages will ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one. They can’t bring Edward Manning back. They can’t change how he died. They can’t undo the injustice that was perpetrated.

What these lawsuits do is demand accountability and justice in a world where law enforcement are empowered to kill with impunity and literal immunity every year. From Vox (emphasis added):

Since 2005, 139 police officers have been arrested for murder or manslaughter due to an on-duty shooting, according to data from Philip Matthew Stinson, a criminal justice expert at Bowling Green State University who has been tracking the data for years. That amounts to fewer than nine prosecutions a year.

About 1,000 fatal police shootings are reported each year in the US — so the arrest rate is around 1 percent, never higher than 2 percent….

Of those 139 officers, just 44 were convicted (with 42 cases still pending [as of April 2021]). Many of those convictions came on lesser charges: Just seven officers have been convicted of murder in police shootings since 2005, with their prison sentences ranging from 81 months to life. The remaining 37 were convicted on charges ranging from manslaughter to official misconduct, in some cases serving no prison time.

At Taylor & Ring, we cannot stand idly by while the people who are supposed to protect us from harm continue to shoot members of our community to death, and then blame the victims in an effort to avoid any accountability for their actions. We are proud to take up this fight for Edward Manning’s family. We demand the truth about what happened. We demand that someone take notice. We demand, to quote Arthur Miller, that attention must finally be paid.

We demand justice for Edward Paul Manning III and his family.

Taylor & Ring is a Los Angeles trial firm handling a wide array of civil rights and injury cases. To learn more about our services, please call 310.776.6390 or fill out our contact form.

For all media inquiries, please contact Aly Crea at (310) 405-7335 or aly@berbay.com.

 

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