3 shoot­ings in 3 years, and o∞cer wins back job

Philadel­phia case il­lus­trates hur­dles to get­ting rid of those whom de­part­ments no longer want

The Washington Post Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - BY THERESA VAR­GAS AND KIMBRIELL KELLY FIRED/REHIRED

Philadel­phia po­lice of­fi­cer Cyrus Mann stood on a rainslicked road, pointed his gun at a mov­ing car and pulled the trig­ger five times, hit­ting the driver.

The next year, he chased an un­armed man down an al­ley and shot him in the back.

Two years later, he fired his gun four times at a man he had stopped for a sus­pected traf­fic vi­o­la­tion.

Most of­fi­cers will never fire their weapons while on duty. Mann, a nine-year mem­ber of the Philadel­phia Po­lice Depart­ment, shot three peo­ple in just over three years. The shoot­ing in the al­ley, on Aug. 9, 2012, would prove fa­tal and prompt the po­lice com­mis­sioner to try to fire Mann.

Like many po­lice chiefs across the na­tion, he would fail.

A Wash­ing­ton Post in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that hun­dreds of po­lice of­fi­cers who were fired for mis­con­duct, in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault and drug traf­fick­ing, have been re­in­stated. Since 2006, at least 451 of 1,800 of­fi­cers fired from 37 of the na­tion’s largest de­part­ments have won their jobs

back through ap­peals pro­vided for in union con­tracts.

Mann’s his­tory on the force of­fers one of the stark­est ex­am­ples, from hun­dreds of cases The Post ex­am­ined, of how lit­tle power po­lice chiefs hold in de­cid­ing which of­fi­cers re­main in their ranks. What is known about Mann has been culled from in­ter­views, pub­licly avail­able law en­force­ment records and hun­dreds of pages of civil and crim­i­nal court doc­u­ments, which in­clude copies of some po­lice records.

By the time he was fired, records show, Mann had also been ac­cused of lung­ing at a su­pe­rior of­fi­cer and had been de­scribed to a jury by a de­fense at­tor­ney as a “night­mare to the cit­i­zens of Philadel­phia.”

Of the 71 of­fi­cers who fought to get their jobs back in that city, po­lice were forced to re­hire 44, more than in any other depart­ment ex­am­ined by The Post.

“You would want to be­lieve that if peo­ple were ter­mi­nated, if proper in­ves­ti­ga­tions and pro­to­cols were fol­lowed, they were ter­mi­nated for a rea­son,” said Philadel­phia Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Richard Ross Jr. “There are oc­ca­sions that you are frus­trated, not just the po­lice com­mis­sioner but even some­times rank and file as well as com­man­ders, be­cause you’ll get peo­ple who get their jobs back and you are com­pletely baf­fled and dis­mayed by it.”

Ross de­clined to speak di­rectly about Mann. The po­lice union that fought for the 33-year-old pa­trol of­fi­cer to get his job back also did not re­turn calls for com­ment.

Mann, in re­sponse to re­quests for his per­spec­tive, of­fered a short re­ply by text.

“No com­ment,” he wrote. “F--off.”

Mann’s first shoot­ing

Rain pum­meled Philadel­phia on June 17, 2011, the night two broth­ers pulled up to a hos­pi­tal and dropped off two gun­shot vic­tims.

An of­fi­cer at the hos­pi­tal ran af­ter their Chevro­let Ta­hoe, but the ve­hi­cle pulled away be­fore he could reach it, ac­cord­ing to court records. He de­scribed it over the po­lice ra­dio, and soon a chase en­sued.

As a pa­trol car with its lights whirling fol­lowed the ve­hi­cle just af­ter 2 a.m., Mann and his part­ner parked along a nearby street, records show. Mann stepped into the road and gripped his city-is­sued 9mm Glock pis­tol.

When the Ta­hoe drove in his di­rec­tion, he fired at it five times.

One bul­let hit the driver, Jeremy May, 33, in his right arm. Other bul­lets struck the ve­hi­cle’s left rear door, the dash­board and the wind­shield, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice crime scene re­port.

Mann told in­ter­nal affairs in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he had his gun out be­cause he be­lieved the men were armed. He said he stood in the road to see whether they planned to “exit and flee” their ve­hi­cle but then saw the driver turn the SUV to­ward him, ac­cord­ing to a copy of his state­ment. He es­ti­mated the ve­hi­cle was trav­el­ing 40 to 45 mph.

“As the car is com­ing at me, I ob­served the driver raising his right hand over his left hand which was on the steer­ing wheel,” Mann said. “At that mo­ment in time I feared for my life, be­liev­ing that the male may be armed and that I was about to be run over by the ve­hi­cle.”

A Philadel­phia jury in 2013 lis­tened as a pros­e­cu­tor de­scribed the broth­ers, who faced felony ag­gra­vated-as­sault and other charges, as a “cop fight­ing family.” She told them Jeremy May pur­posely aimed his ve­hi­cle at Mann, who was dis­tinc­tive look­ing at 6-foot-3 and re­sem­bled a younger ver­sion of Ka­reem Ab­dul-Jabbar, the Hall of Fame bas­ket­ball player.

The jury also heard Pa­trick Link, Jeremy May’s de­fense at­tor­ney, ar­gue that the charges against the broth­ers were meant to cover up for the shoot­ing by Mann. No gun was re­cov­ered from the ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to a sum­mary on the po­lice depart­ment’s web­site for of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings. The jury would later ac­quit the broth­ers of the ag­gra­vated as­sault charges but con­vict Jeremy May of pos­ses­sion of an in­stru­ment of crime, a mis­de­meanor, for driv­ing the car. Joseph May was con­victed of re­sist­ing ar­rest, also a mis­de­meanor.

“You de­serve good cops,” Link told the jury af­ter de­scrib­ing Mann as a “night­mare” to the city. “Most of them are. That one’s not.”

Mann tes­ti­fied at the trial that the shoot­ing marked the first time he fired his weapon.

He also de­scribed an ear­lier en­counter with Jeremy May.

Mann had tried to ar­rest May for al­leged drunken driv­ing weeks ear­lier. A po­lice re­port for the in­ci­dent says May re­sisted and a brief strug­gle en­sued.

“I Tasered him ap­prox­i­mately five times,” Mann tes­ti­fied. “It had no ef­fect. The fifth time, that’s when he dis­armed me of my taser. That’s when my­self, my part­ner and, I be­lieve, six, seven other of­fi­cers had to fight the de­fen­dant.”

“You kicked him and you punched him af­ter you tased him five times while he’s on the ground, cor­rect?” Link asked. “Yes, sir.” “Did you no­tice him miss­ing a tooth af­ter this in­ci­dent?”

“No, sir.”

Mann shoots again

On Aug. 9, 2012, a year af­ter the shoot­ing, Mann was driv­ing his pa­trol car through a West Philadel­phia neigh­bor­hood when he pulled over a Ford Crown Vic­to­ria car­ry­ing Has­san Pratt. Both the of­fi­cer and Pratt were 28.

Pratt, who worked at ShopRite earn­ing $7.25 an hour, sat in the front pas­sen­ger seat. In the back seat was his brother, Mikaal Pratt, whom he hadn’t seen in months. The Army sergeant was sta­tioned in Guam and had ar­rived home that day for a short leave.

Mann and his part­ner, Duy Nguyen, ap­proached the car about 6:30 p.m. The driver tried to ex­plain that a right turn at a red light was per­mit­ted at that cor­ner af­ter 6 p.m., records show. But Mikaal Pratt said the of­fi­cers did not lis­ten.

“They lit­er­ally pulled us over to be searched,” he said

Mann told a sergeant they had stopped the ve­hi­cle for a fail­ure to in­di­cate a turn, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment the sergeant gave in­ves­ti­ga­tors. Nguyen told in­ves­ti­ga­tors they stopped the car af­ter notic­ing a brake light was out.

Nguyen said he or­dered Mikaal Pratt out of the car first and pat­ted him down. The of­fi­cer said he then told Has­san Pratt to step out and handed him off to Mann to be searched.

A mo­ment later, Has­san Pratt was sprint­ing to­ward a trash­strewn al­ley, and Mann was chas­ing him.

The two ran for nearly 300 feet, through the al­ley and across a street to where the al­ley picked up again, ac­cord­ing to po­lice pho­tos and mea­sure­ments taken at the time. They veered right at a gray wall marked with white graf­fiti.

At one point, they zipped past Clau­dia Dunn, who was stand­ing out­side her car. It was clear to her that Pratt did not have a weapon. She told The Post what she had told po­lice at the time: His hands were busy try­ing to hold up his khaki shorts.

Mo­ments later, Dunn heard the gun­shots.

“It’s a sound you never for­get,” she re­called. “It just went through you.”

When Mann emerged on the street alone, she knew the other man was gone. Po­lice pho­tos show Pratt ly­ing face­down in a mess of weeds in a spot where lean­ing tree trunks made the 21/2-foot- wide al­ley even nar­rower. His shorts and box­ers are bunched be­low his hips, leav­ing him ex­posed.

“I had to shoot him, I had to shoot him,” Mann said, Mikaal Pratt re­called in a de­po­si­tion for a civil law­suit the family filed.

“He was try­ing to go for my taser. He was try­ing to go for my taser,” Nguyen, in his de­po­si­tion, re­counted his part­ner say­ing.

The broth­ers’ fa­ther, Michael Dawes, awoke to a phone call from po­lice telling him his son Has­san was dead.

He was given few de­tails. The lo­cal news ar­ti­cles he saw at the time cited po­lice of­fi­cials as say­ing his son was shot in the chest when he tried to grab a Taser dur­ing a strug­gle with an 18th Dis­trict of­fi­cer.

Dawes ac­cepted that ac­count un­til he saw his son’s body at the fu­neral home. He and other rel­a­tives were wash­ing it, fol­low­ing Mus­lim cus­tom, when they no­ticed that the bul­let en­try holes were in his back.

Dawes said he be­lieves his son took off run­ning be­cause he did not want to be found in vi­o­la­tion of his pro­ba­tion and go back to prison. Court records show that in 2004, Pratt was con­victed of rob­bery and crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and sen­tenced to five to 10 years in prison and 15 years of pro­ba­tion. At the time of his death, he had traces of co­caine in his sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to the tox­i­col­ogy re­port from Philadel­phia’s med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice.

The med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s re­port de­scribes Pratt as 5-foot-11, 306 pounds and de­tails three gun­shot wounds, two in his back and one to his but­tocks. One of the bul­lets en­tered his up­per back, trav­eled through his neck, grazed his tongue and broke a tooth, the re­port says.

The med­i­cal ex­am­iner also found no gun­shot residue in the wounds. This in­di­cated that the muz­zle of the gun was “likely more than two feet away, and con­sis­tent with a fur­ther dis­tance” from Pratt’s body when shots were fired, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Jonathan Ar­den, a foren­sic pathol­o­gist who was hired as a con­sul­tant for the family’s law­suit. The wounds were “not con­sis­tent with the ac­count of the shoot­ing of­fered by the po­lice,” wrote Ar­den, who had been the D.C. med­i­cal ex­am­iner be­fore leav­ing amid com­plaints in 2003.

Pratt could have been turn­ing when Mann shoved him and fired his weapon, Mann said in a state­ment he gave af­ter the shoot­ing, ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment de­tail­ing his fir­ing.

But the of­fi­cer would not pro­vide an ac­count of the shoot­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors with the In­ter­nal Affairs Divi­sion un­til long af­ter Pratt’s death. Mann gave his first in­ter­view to them nearly 17 months af­ter his en­counter with Pratt, records show. Seven more months passed be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tors in­ter­viewed him a sec­ond time.

By then, he had shot some­one else.

‘What hap­pened?’

Gre­gory Porter­field had just left his mosque and was giv­ing a friend a ride when Mann pulled over his Yukon De­nali for a sus­pected traf­fic vi­o­la­tion.

The of­fi­cer or­dered Porter­field to step out, place his hands against the ve­hi­cle and spread his legs, ac­cord­ing to a civil law­suit Porter­field filed af­ter the June 25, 2014, in­ci­dent.

Mann asked Porter­field whether he was armed. The 55-year-old said, yes, he was.

The law­suit gives this ac­count: Porter­field pat­ted his right front pocket to in­di­cate where he had the gun. Mann tried to force him to the ground. As Porter­field stum­bled for­ward, he raised his “empty hands in the air” to demon­strate he was not hold­ing a weapon.

He then “heard sev­eral gun­shots and im­me­di­ately felt pain in his back,” the law­suit reads. Mann and his part­ner, Joseph Reiber, the law­suit says, “with­out any le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, im­me­di­ately began re­peat­edly fir­ing their weapons at the Plain­tiff while he held his arms up demon­strat­ing that his hands were empty.”

Porter­field was shot eight times, in­clud­ing twice in the back, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. He was also in­jured near his un­der­arm, but­tocks, rear shoul­der, leg, wrist and in­dex fin­ger.

The last thing he would re­mem­ber, the law­suit says, was paramedics cut­ting off his clothes.

The po­lice depart­ment’s web­site that tracks of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings also pro­vides an ac­count: “As a re­sult of the driver act­ing ner­vous, the of­fi­cers asked him to step out of the ve­hi­cle for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. While con­duct­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the of­fender told the of­fi­cers that he had a firearm. The of­fi­cers then at­tempted to se­cure the of­fender as he at­tempted to flee. One of the of­fi­cers grabbed the of­fender, at which time he pro­ceeded to draw his firearm. At that point, both of­fi­cers drew their weapons and dis­charged them, strik­ing the of­fender.”

The web­site said the of­fi­cers pulled the ve­hi­cle over for “traf­fic vi­o­la­tions.” Porter­field’s crim­i­nal

at­tor­ney said the of­fi­cers claimed the stop was for a bro­ken brake light but that it was work­ing. The civil law­suit de­scribes the en­counter as an “un­law­ful stop” by po­lice.

At­tor­neys for the city have de­nied many of the law­suit’s claims in a re­sponse filed with the court. Of­fi­cer Reiber did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Porter­field spent sev­eral days in the in­ten­sive care unit and two weeks to­tal at Ein­stein Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Charged with at­tempted mur­der and as­sault of a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer, he was trans­ferred to the Prison Health Ser­vices Wing at the Philadel­phia De­ten­tion Cen­ter, where he spent five months re­cov­er­ing.

The charges al­leged that Porter­field shot at the of­fi­cers with a gun that he did not have a li­cense to carry. His bail was set at $1 mil­lion. The law­suit claims the charges were based on false state­ments from the of­fi­cers.

A June 10, 2015, memo to the po­lice com­mis­sioner from the depart­ment’s In­ter­nal Affairs Divi­sion about the shoot­ing says that Mann fired his weapon four times and that Reiber fired his six. A Bersa semi­au­to­matic .380-cal­iber pis­tol was re­cov­ered at the scene, and an ex­am­i­na­tion by the Firearms Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Unit found gun­shot residue as well as lint in the bar­rel, raising ques­tions about whether the gun had been fired at the of­fi­cers.

“Although both of­fi­cers stated they ob­served muz­zle fire com­ing from the weapon pos­sessed by Gre­gory Porter­field, there was no bal­lis­tic ev­i­dence that would in­di­cate Gre­gory Porter­field dis­charged his weapon,” the memo reads.

Pa­trick Link, the at­tor­ney who han­dled May’s case, also rep­re­sented Porter­field on the crim­i­nal charges. As soon as he heard that Mann was in­volved, he re­called think­ing, “You’ve got to be kid­ding me.”

“Things just spi­ral out of con­trol with him,” Link said. “He’s not fit to be a po­lice of­fi­cer, bot­tom line.”

Link re­called vis­it­ing Porter­field in the med­i­cal unit of the de­ten­tion cen­ter.

“He had bul­let wounds all over his body,” Link said. “All he kept say­ing was, ‘What did I do? What hap­pened?’ ”

On June 19, 2015, the at­tempted-mur­der and as­sault charges against Porter­field were dropped. He re­ceived five years of pro­ba­tion re­lated to a charge for pre­scrip­tion pills found in his ve­hi­cle.

Ex­actly a month later, on July 19, 2015, Mann was fired for the fa­tal shoot­ing of Has­san Pratt.

No crim­i­nal charges

In the nearly three years that passed be­tween Mann’s en­counter with Pratt and his dis­missal, the of­fi­cer’s ac­tions had fallen un­der mul­ti­ple lev­els of scru­tiny.

Af­ter all three cases, as with many po­lice shoot­ings na­tion­wide, three things took place. The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice con­sid­ered whether Mann’s ac­tions war­ranted charges. The po­lice depart­ment’s In­ter­nal Affairs Divi­sion de­ter­mined whether poli­cies were vi­o­lated. And those af­fected most by the gun­fire, the men hit with bul­lets, or their rel­a­tives, weighed whether to sue.

Af­ter the shoot­ing in­volv­ing the May broth­ers, the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice ex­am­ined the ev­i­dence and de­cided that Mann’s ac­tions were “legally jus­ti­fied.”

“It was rea­son­able for P/O Mann to be­lieve that May was armed and dan­ger­ous based on in­for­ma­tion he re­ceived over a po­lice ra­dio about a prior shoot­ing in the area and two gun­shot vic­tims be­ing dropped off at the hos­pi­tal by a ve­hi­cle match­ing the de­scrip­tion of May’s ve­hi­cle,” ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­nal memo pre­pared by the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice and pro­vided to The Post. “Fur­ther­more, not only did May fail to obey the of­fi­cers’ com­mands to stop, May in­ten­tion­ally aimed his ve­hi­cle at a high rate of speed at P/O Mann and at­tempted to run him over.”

In its re­view, the po­lice depart­ment de­cided Mann’s ac­tions war­ranted dis­ci­pline. He re­ceived a four-day sus­pen­sion, records show.

It is un­clear what rea­son was cited for the sus­pen­sion, but the depart­ment at the time pro­hib­ited of­fi­cers from fir­ing at a mov­ing ve­hi­cle “un­less deadly phys­i­cal force is be­ing used against the po­lice of­fi­cer or an­other per­son present, by means other than the mov­ing ve­hi­cle.”

Jeremy May could not be reached for com­ment. His brother, Joseph May, filed a law­suit that named Mann and listed among its claims, reck­less and un­law­ful dis­charge of a firearm. The case was dis­missed in Fe­bru­ary 2016. May, reached by phone, said he had been rep­re­sent­ing him­self but was un­able to at­tend court.

Af­ter the Pratt shoot­ing, Dis- trict At­tor­ney R. Seth Wil­liams wrote in a Novem­ber 2013 let­ter to Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Charles H. Ramsey that a care­ful re­view of rel­e­vant ma­te­rial “has con­cluded that no crim­i­nal charges are war­ranted.”

The let­ter de­tails the en­counter and says Mann pulled out his gun af­ter see­ing Pratt grab at his waist­band. Later, while in the al­ley, Pratt reached for Mann’s ser­vice weapon, and then for his Taser, the let­ter says.

Eleven days af­ter the shoot­ing, Mann re­ceived “Post Dis­charge Firearms Train­ing,” which in­cluded re­view­ing the deadly force pol­icy and watch­ing a video ti­tled “Bul­lets are not the an­swer,” records show.

Po­lice depart­ment of­fi­cials later con­cluded that Mann did not have to shoot Pratt.

The depart­ment’s Charg­ing Unit de­ter­mined in March 2015 that Mann’s ac­tions had vi­o­lated a dis­ci­plinary code based on a pol­icy that reads: “Po­lice of­fi­cers shall not dis­charge their firearms to sub­due a flee­ing in­di­vid­ual who presents no threat of im­mi­nent death or se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­jury to them­selves or an­other per­son present.”

In June that same year, a po­lice board of in­quiry held a hear­ing about Mann’s en­counter with Pratt and is­sued a de­ter­mi­na­tion of wrong­do­ing. One mem­ber rec­om­mended that Mann re­ceive a 30-day sus­pen­sion. The other two mem­bers, in­clud­ing now-Com­mis­sioner Ross, who at the time was a deputy com­mis­sioner, rec­om­mended two op­tions: a 30-day sus­pen­sion or dis­missal.

The city set­tled the law­suit filed by Pratt’s family for $465,000, an amount based in part on Pratt’s pro­jected life­time earn­ings in his job at ShopRite. He had hoped to work as an elec­tri­cian and had com­pleted a train­ing pro­gram a year ear­lier. The set­tle­ment was later re­ported lo­cally as one of the 10 largest pay­outs, to­tal­ing $11.1 mil­lion, for po­lice-in­volved shoot­ings that oc­curred in the city be­tween 2007 and 2013.

Af­ter Porter­field was shot, prose­cu­tors again de­cided against charg­ing Mann.

“Based on the ev­i­dence and wit­ness ac­counts, there is con­vinc­ing proof that Of­fi­cer Reiber and Of­fi­cer Mann acted rea­son­ably un­der the cir­cum­stances at the time of dis­charge,” an in­ter­nal re­view memo from the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice reads.

It is un­clear how the de­part­de­fense ment re­solved its in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A law­suit filed by Porter­field is ex­pected to go to trial next sum­mer.

The law­suit crit­i­cizes the city for plac­ing Mann back on pa­trol af­ter the two ear­lier shoot­ings, know­ing he “had vi­o­lated the con­sti­tu­tional rights of city res­i­dents on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions.” It also says Porter­field suf­fered a per­ma­nent limp that has left him de­pen­dent at times on a cane or walker.

Porter­field’s at­tor­ney, Paul Het­z­necker, said the case il­lus­trates the dan­gers of a sys­tem that fa­vors po­lice and of­ten han­dles of­fi­cers’ mis­con­duct in se­cret. Only re­cently has Mann gained any lo­cal me­dia at­ten­tion.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Philadel­phia has had a cul­ture within the depart­ment that has re­in­forced the pro­tec­tion of po­lice of­fi­cers who should never have been hired or never should have been re­tained,” Het­z­necker said. “I think it’s a na­tional prob­lem. I don’t think it’s Philadel­phia’s alone.”

‘This is go­ing to get ugly’

When Charles Ramsey was Philadel­phia po­lice chief, he tried to hold Cyrus Mann to ac­count.

Ramsey con­sid­ered the board mem­bers’ rec­om­men­da­tions and fired the of­fi­cer. He then saw him come back.

The for­mer D.C. po­lice chief said that dur­ing the eight years he led the Philadel­phia depart­ment, he was forced to re­in­state an of­fi­cer who was charged with theft and an­other who was ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault. An of­fi­cer in­volved in a cor­rup­tion case was not only given his job back, but an ar­bi­tra­tor also or­dered the po­lice depart­ment to give him a pro­mo­tion.

“How do you re­spond to that as a chief and as a leader?” Ramsey said.

In a lengthy in­ter­view with The Post, Ramsey spoke crit­i­cally about the ar­bi­tra­tion process, which re­lies on in­de­pen­dent hear­ing of­fi­cers to set­tle dis­putes be­tween the po­lice depart­ment and union. Ramsey, who said he had been sued for dis­cussing in­di­vid­ual of­fi­cers, did not re­turn fol­lowup calls to speak specif­i­cally about why he fired Mann. Re­quests to the po­lice depart­ment for in­for­ma­tion per­tain­ing to Mann’s dis­ci­plinary his­tory and in­ves­tiga­tive records of his three shoot­ings were de­nied.

Mann has lit­tle to no vis­i­ble on­line pres­ence — no string of Google im­ages that show his face, no Twit­ter or Face­book ac­counts in his name.

Be­fore he joined the po­lice force, he wore a dif­fer­ent uni­form. For 2 years, from Jan­uary 2005 to June 2007, Mann worked as a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer for the Philadel­phia In­ter­na­tional Air­port, ac­cord­ing to Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials.

In 2009, he grad­u­ated from the po­lice academy, and records show that in the years since, he has re­ceived train­ing on sub­jects in­clud­ing crimes against the el­derly, hu­man traf­fick­ing and use of force.

He has also ac­cu­mu­lated five cit­i­zen com­plaints against him in the past five years, ac­cord­ing to records the po­lice depart­ment pro­vided. Four were de­ter­mined to lack merit on the most se­ri­ous claims. But in one, filed by a woman in­volved in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent, in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­cluded that Mann com­mit­ted three de­part­men­tal vi­o­la­tions, in­clud­ing en­gag­ing in “in­tim­i­dat­ing con­duct to­wards a su­pe­rior of­fi­cer.”

Mann ar­gued with a sergeant who de­manded his badge num­ber at the scene of the ac­ci­dent.

“This is go­ing to get ugly,” Mann said be­fore con­fronting the sergeant, ac­cord­ing to an ac­count from Mann’s part­ner in the com­plaint. Af­ter Mann ap­proached the sergeant, the two began shout­ing at each other and had to be sep­a­rated by fel­low of­fi­cers, it says. Later at the 35th Dis­trict sta­tion, dur­ing an­other heated ex­change, the sergeant ac­cused Mann of lung­ing at him.

In his state­ment to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, the sergeant de­scribed Mann as “hos­tile” at the ac­ci­dent scene and said he be­lieved that if an­other sergeant had not re­strained Mann at the sta­tion, a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion would have oc­curred.

Mann, in his state­ment, said he ini­tially ap­proached the sergeant to ask why he had cursed at him.

“Re­spect goes both ways and you tried to be­lit­tle me in front of every­body,” he re­called say­ing.

It is un­clear whether that event re­sulted in dis­ci­pline. In re­sponse to re­quests, the city re­leased only one doc­u­ment about Mann’s dis­ci­plinary his­tory — an 11-page ar­bi­tra­tion de­ci­sion that ad­dresses his dis­missal over the fa­tal shoot­ing of Pratt. For the other 43 re­in­stated of­fi­cers, the city turned over the same type of doc­u­ment, but each had such heavy redac­tions that it was mostly un­read­able. For Mann, of­fi­cials re­leased the de­ci­sion in full to The Post and Philadel­phia pub­li­ca­tions that re­quested it, say­ing it was de­ter­mined to be in the pub­lic’s in­ter­est.

The doc­u­ment, which de­tails the moves the po­lice depart­ment made in fir­ing Mann and the ar­gu­ments the union used to fight for his re­in­state­ment, pro­vides rare in­sight into a process that plays out in se­cret in many cities.

The lone wit­ness

When Ramsey an­nounced that he was go­ing to fire Mann, the union im­me­di­ately ap­pealed.

In Fe­bru­ary 2016, a hear­ing was held be­fore ar­bi­tra­tor Ralph Colflesh, who had to de­cide: “Did the City have just cause to sus­pend with­out pay and ter­mi­nate the Grievant, Po­lice Of­fi­cer Cyrus M. Mann; and if not, what shall the remedy be?”

The ar­bi­tra­tion de­ci­sion, writ­ten by Colflesh, sum­ma­rizes the ar­gu­ments made on both sides of the is­sue.

“The City’s ma­jor con­tention is that deadly force was not re­quired in this at­tempted ar­rest be­cause Of­fi­cer Mann did not know if the sus­pect had a gun, had seized the Of­fi­cer’s Taser, or had an­other kind of weapon,” it reads. “In such a cir­cum­stance, the City says, deadly force was not the only op­tion.”

The po­lice union ar­gued at the hear­ing that the of­fi­cer was up against a heav­ier man who was de­ter­mined not to re­turn to prison and who was later found to have drugs in his pos­ses­sion and in his sys­tem. Mann tes­ti­fied that Pratt threat­ened him and used the words “F--- you up.”

“Of­fi­cer Mann rea­son­ably felt a threat to his own life and, fail­ing the abil­ity to oth­er­wise sub­due the sus­pect and avoid the pos­si­ble loss of his own life or sig­nif­i­cant bod­ily harm, Of­fi­cer Mann used the only mea­sure at his dis­posal — his gun,” the union con­tended.

On March 9, 2016, Colflesh is­sued a rul­ing.

He or­dered that Mann be given his job back, re­ceive back pay and have his dis­ci­plinary record “purged of any and all penal­ties and find­ings of mis­con­duct in this mat­ter.”

“I have no doubt that con­cern for Of­fi­cer Mann’s safety over­whelm­ingly jus­ti­fied his de­ci­sion to dis­charge his weapon,” reads Colflesh’s de­ci­sion. “The City’s po­si­tion on this ques­tion is greatly hob­bled by the fact that it has no wit­nesses to tes­tify to Of­fi­cer Mann’s be­hav­ior. In fact, the lone wit­ness to the shoot­ing is the Of­fi­cer him­self.”

Colflesh, reached by phone, said that the bur­den of proof was on the city and that it did not have suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

“No one could prove that Mann shot him ma­li­ciously,” he said. At the time of the pro­ceed­ings, Colflesh was aware that Mann had been dis­ci­plined for a prior shoot­ing, but he said each case is con­sid­ered on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, and the case at hand was the Pratt en­counter. “I had to look at that day and that day only.”

Colflesh, who will soon serve as the Mid-At­lantic co­or­di­na­tor of the Na­tional Academy of Ar­bi­tra­tors, said the ar­bi­tra­tion process is im­por­tant for of­fi­cers be­cause it gives them a chance to have their cases heard by a neu­tral in­di­vid­ual.

“The al­ter­na­tive to that is any­time the po­lice depart­ment thinks you did some­thing wrong, they would have the right to fire you and you would have no re­course,” he said. “Your ca­reer is ended.”

Mann cur­rently earns $73,808 a year, ac­cord­ing to the city. He is as­signed to a pa­trol dis­trict.

Pratt’s fa­ther, Michael Dawes, said he finds it alarm­ing but not sur­pris­ing that Mann kept his job. He ex­pects that “he’ll have a 30year ca­reer or 40-year ca­reer.”

On a swel­ter­ing af­ter­noon, Dawes walked through the al­ley where his son died. He stepped over a dis­carded ra­zor and an empty SunChips wrap­per, stop­ping at the place where Pratt col­lapsed five years ear­lier, his body land­ing on the ground next to a bro­ken Ru­bik’s Cube.

“I’m not mad at cops,” Dawes said. “I know all cops aren’t that way. It’s just some cops are overzeal­ous. Some­times peo­ple come out here and for­get their oath.”

MICHAEL BRYANT/PHILADEL­PHIA IN­QUIRER

Of­fi­cer Cyrus Mann in 2010 in Philadel­phia. Fired over a killing, he won his job back.

MARVIN JOSEPH/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

ABOVE: Michael Dawes on June 13 stands near the spot where his son Has­san Pratt fell when he was fa­tally shot by Of­fi­cer Cyrus Mann on Aug. 9, 2012. Pratt, who was un­armed, had run away from a traf­fic stop, and Mann chased him on foot into an al­ley.

JES­SICA KOURKOUNIS FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

BE­LOW: The Philadel­phia Po­lice Depart­ment head­quar­ters build­ing, known as the Round­house. Out of 71 Philadel­phia of­fi­cers who were fired since 2006 and fought to get their jobs back, 44 were or­dered re­in­stated, more than in any other depart­ment ex­am­ined by The Wash­ing­ton Post. Mann was among the 44.

OB­TAINED BY THE WASH­ING­TON POST

TOP: Mikaal Pratt, seen near his for­mer home in Manas­sas Park, Va., in April, was on a short leave from his Army du­ties in Guam in 2012 when his brother, Has­san, was killed by Of­fi­cer Cyrus Mann. Mikaal was a back­seat pas­sen­ger in the ve­hi­cle but did not see the shoot­ing be­cause his brother had run out of sight with Mann in pur­suit. ABOVE: In this po­lice ev­i­dence photo, the po­si­tion of a bul­let cas­ing is in­di­cated by an ev­i­dence marker in the al­ley where Of­fi­cer Cyrus Mann of the Philadel­phia po­lice fa­tally shot Has­san Pratt on Aug. 9, 2012.

MARVIN JOSEPH/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.