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Attorneys: Judge releases video in California fatal shooting

February 11, 2022 GMT

CABAZON, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California judge on Friday ordered the release of police body-camera footage in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man in 2017, according to lawyers representing the victim’s family.

Edward Paul Manning III was shot and killed by Deputy George Scott of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on March 4, 2017, in Cabazon, an unincorporated community about 85 miles (136.79 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

The sheriff’s department said in 2017 that deputies were called to an area near the Desert Hills Premium Outlets after a report of a “suspicious person near a business.” Manning allegedly fled across a freeway and was found by a helicopter.

Authorities said Manning pointed a metal object “simulating a weapon” at the deputies and Scott opened fire. Scott was put on administrative leave at the time but it was not immediately clear Friday what his employment status is now.

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Attorneys John C. Taylor and Peter Reagan, who are representing Manning’s family in their lawsuit alleging negligence and wrongful death, said in a news release Friday that the 26-year-old had been dumpster diving near the outlets and was unarmed.

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

The sheriff’s department declined to comment Friday, citing the pending litigation. The family’s attorneys said the agency fought the video’s release.

“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,” Reagan said in the release. “They preach transparency in public but encourage secrecy in private.”

The video released Friday, taken from Scott’s body-worn camera, is more than four minutes long. Taylor and Reagan provided it to media.

“Where’s your hands?” Scott shouts as he runs in the dark. “Drop it!”

Seconds later, Scott fires 11 shots. He continues running, yelling “Let me see your hands!”

The video does not capture Manning until 18 seconds in — after the 11 rounds were fired — when a helicopter searchlight illuminates him.

The deputy fires another four times, which the family’s attorneys say occurs as Manning is on the ground. “Let me see your hands!” Scott continues to shout.

“I can’t see his hands, he’s pointing something at me,” Scott says as other deputies arrive. “He’s holding his waistband.”

The deputies approach Manning as he’s laying, wounded, under a tree.

Then, Scott shouts: “Hand’s empty; hand is empty!”

The family’s lawyers said Manning was shot in the back and the leg. He died later at the hospital.