SACRAMENTO — A former Sacramento police officer is now suing the city, saying the mayor’s statements about the Joseph Mann case played a role in his termination.
Mann was shot more than a dozen times after officers John Tennis and Randy Lazoya say he threatened them with a blade on July 11, 2016.
Findings by the district attorney’s office stated Mann was under the influence of methamphetamine and threatened the officers while refusing to put his knife down. Mann’s family said he was mentally ill.
The DA ruled Tennis and Lazoya acted appropriately in dealing with a felon who was a threat to the community and they were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Court records obtained Monday by FOX40 show attorneys for Tennis filed a lawsuit against the city and the Civil Service Board. They point out a number of issues that allegedly led to Tennis’ eventual termination following the police department’s own administrative investigation.
The records include public comments made by Mayor Darrell Steinberg regarding use of force policies. At the time, the lawsuit claims Steinberg said, “If the internal investigation concludes officers were following policy, then it is past time for us to change those policies. There must be accountability.”
FOX40 reached out to the city and the mayor’s office for comment and has not heard back.