25 Oct 2017
The Sacramento Police Department took steps Monday to fire an officer who fatally shot an armed, mentally ill black man last July in North Sacramento, following a yearlong investigation into the controversial incident.
The department has finished preliminary paperwork for the termination of Officer John Tennis, according to four sources familiar with the action but not authorized to speak publicly.
It is unclear if the move is directly tied to the shooting. Tennis, a 26-year member of the force, fired eight of the 18 shots aimed at Joseph Mann, 50, who was armed with a knife with a 3.5-inch blade and acting erratically when police first encountered him in a residential neighborhood near Del Paso Boulevard.
Both the police department and City Attorney James Sanchez declined to comment on what they described as a personnel matter.
The other officer involved in the fatal shooting, Randy Lozoya, retired on April 1, according to department spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein. It is unclear if Lozoya faced discipline over the shooting since police personnel and disciplinary records are confidential under state law.
“I applaud the department and the city of Sacramento for taking the proper action,” said Robert Mann, Joseph Mann’s brother. The Mann family has expressed outrage over the shooting and filed two lawsuits. The city has settled one suit filed by Mann’s father for $719,500.
Robert and Deborah Mann, brother and sister of Joseph Mann, who was shot to death by Sacramento police, say the family has filed a second lawsuit against the city seeking information about the officers who fired the fatal shots.
Anita Chabria The Sacramento Bee
Tennis and Lozoya were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in January by a Sacramento County District Attorney’s investigation.
The move to fire Tennis may have resulted from the department’s internal affairs investigation into the Mann shooting, sources said. Department spokesman Sgt. Matt McPhail said that investigation is ongoing.
Internal affairs is investigating if Tennis and Lozoya violated department policies and procedures or training standards. A separate, public report by the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability that critiques the internal affairs findings is expected in the coming weeks.
The police chief and city manager have approved Tennis’ termination – letters of intent to fire police officers must be cleared by both prior to being sent, sources said.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article158358199.html