Joseph Mann was an ambitious guy with a thousand-watt smile. The 51-year-old was youngest of 5 children, and spent most of his life in and around Sacramento, California. Joe was an underground DJ in college, spinning an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, and classical. He also earned a degree in Business and Communications, and worked as a technician for the California Department of Corrections. Unfortunately, he fell in love with a drug addict and spiraled into her world, eventually losing his car, his job, and his home. Lost, Joe returned to live with his mother for support and to rebuild, but she was in ill health and died less than a year later. The loss of his mother sent Joe adrift. He would disappear for months at a time, homeless, purposeless, penniless. His oldest sister kept his belongings in a suitcase in a make-shift room for him in her garage, and Joe would materialize from time to time to tell her he was okay, and to look through his photos in the suitcase to remind him of who he once was.
Joseph Mann was murdered by police on July 11, 2016, for throwing a thermos. He had been reported walking down a street doing karate moves with a 4-inch blade and shouting. Two cops arrived, and told Joe to drop the knife and get on the ground; he threw his thermos at them and continued shouting. A second pair of cops arrived, and the driver declared: “Fuck this guy, I’m going to hit him.” He attempted to run over Joe… twice… with his cruiser, but Joe avoided being hit and bolted across the median and attempted to run away. The two cops exited the cruiser and shot him 14 times in the back as he fled. Neither cop was charged with a crime.
Black lives matter.