Riverside County, CA — Before Deputy George Scott emptied his service pistol into the back of Edward Paul Manning, Manning was accused of "dumpster diving" — a non-crime. For years, Manning's family has fought for justice and for years that justice never came. Illustrating the lack of transparency and secrecy within the department and county who killed him, is the fact that it took them almost 5 years just to release the body camera footage.
After watching the footage, it becomes entirely clear why the Riverside County Sheriff's Department wanted to keep it secret. It shows one of their deputies take aim as an unarmed man ran away from him and dump his entire pistol into the innocent man's back, with four of the shots being fired after Manning had already collapsed.
"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,'' attorney Peter Reagan said. "They preach transparency in public but encourage secrecy in private."
Reagan and co-counsel John Taylor are representing Manning's family in a lawsuit against the sheriff's department and the county. They are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for the shooting.
On the night he was killed, March 4, 2017, Manning was allegedly trespassing behind an outlet mall when a security officer saw him "dumpster diving" and called 911. When deputies responded to the scene, Manning took off running, narrowly escaping being hit as he ran across the freeway.
Instead of simply letting a man run off for trying to sustain himself out of other people's garbage, multiple units proceeded to give chase with a police helicopter joining in as well — over dumpster diving.
When Scott found Manning, he proceeded to engage in a foot chase, running after Manning as he headed into a field. Scott then claimed to see Manning holding a "metal object," which Scott wrongly claimed was a gun.
Manning had no such object and was unarmed. Nevertheless, Scott decided to murder him.
"Let me see your hands! Drop it!" Scott says as he immediately opens fire, dumping 11 rounds into Manning's back. Manning immediately collapses near a tree as Scott yells more impossible commands for the dying man to follow.
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"Let me see your hands! Let me see your hands!'' Scott yells once more.
"Alright," Manning replies.
Without reason, Scoot then unloads the remaining four rounds in his magazine into the dying, unarmed, and innocent man bleeding out on the ground.
After executing Manning, Scott radioed in to let his fellow deputies know what unfolded.
"Subject is shot. However, he's not giving his hands. We cannot see him. He's underneath a tree. I can't see his hands. He was pointing something at me. He's holding it in his waistband.''
As Scott reloads his pistol, he is joined by several other deputies who then draw their weapons and surround their kill at gunpoint — handcuffing his lifeless body — for their safety, of course.
After a brief paid vacation, Scott was ruled justified in the shooting. Though he is no longer employed with the Riverside County sheriff's department, he is still a cop and has moved to another agency.
"Edward Paul Manning was unarmed, nonviolent and was running away when the deputy repeatedly shot him in the back,'' attorney John Taylor said. "Edward wasn't a threat to any deputy. He needed help, but instead, the deputies escalated the situation and killed him."