Revolution #263, March 25, 2012

From a Reader:

The Police Killing of Marine Sergeant Manny Loggins

In the early morning hours of February 7 in San Clemente, California, an Orange County deputy sheriff shot and killed Marine Sergeant Manuel (Manny) Loggins, Jr. in front of his 14- and 9-year-old daughters. The story of this shooting is familiar. Cop shoots unarmed Black man, and the facts are obscured as the police continue to revise what happened in order to protect their asses.

The continued changing of their story of what happened that morning is consistent with standard police operating procedures to "get their stories straight" in order to point the blame of the killing to the person who was killed.

The Sheriff's Department story as unfolded by the San Diego Union Tribune (U-T) is fishy at best. At first they say that Loggins had been stopped for a traffic violation. Then they change that and say he crashed his vehicle through the gate of a high school parking lot. The early stories have the sheriffs saying that the cop was by himself. They later hint that additional cops had arrived before the shooting. The first reports were that Loggins was walking away from the cop when he was shot, and then that was changed where it was stated that the cop shot Manny through the window of his car. (The picture of the vehicle shows the front window broken out.) But here's the kicker: The early stories say that the cop feared for his life, but when it was clear that Manny was unarmed, the story was changed to where the cop feared for the life of Manny's two young daughters, and that story has further been changed from at first stating that the girls said nothing to later stating that the girls said that their father "was acting crazy."

In a letter printed in the Orange County Register, an angry writer stated, "It is obvious that a 'cover-up' is in the making, and those involved want to put forth the story most palatable to a public still upset over the beating to death of an unarmed homeless man, Kelly Thomas [see below], by the Fullerton police. I pray that the Orange County District Attorney has the guts to bring to justice those involved both in the cover-up and in the incident itself. Public trust in law enforcement is fast fading here in Orange County."

Blogs and websites have been full of comments by people in the area who are outraged by this killing, and the contradictory facts being presented by the Sheriffs Department have been reported in other papers in the U.S. and Europe.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a memorial organized by a friend of Loggins that had been planned to take place in front of the sheriff's station in San Clemente—as "a show of support for Manny and his family" was cancelled "over concern it might provoke further fury." "When the memorial was announced online 'it got really huge, really quickly,' she (Manny's friend) said. 'I don't think the Loggins family or myself knew how many people would respond.'"

The Kelly Thomas murder by the Fullerton police, about 40 miles north of San Clemente, sparked large demonstrations and outraged a significant section of the white population in Fullerton. In order to head off another Kelly Thomas situation, the Orange County deputy sheriffs union, in an unusual move, made a lengthy statement immediately after the killing, backing the cop and depicting Manny Loggins as "irrational" and stating that "his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death."

The Marine brass at Camp Pendleton have countered the picture presented by the sheriffs that depict Manny Loggins as a "crazed" person who was going to "harm his children." The statement by the Marines points out that the Manny they knew was a devoted father who mentored many Marines on the base. Major Christopher Cox stated that, "Loggins regularly took early morning prayer walks at the high school track with his family" and that "his wife usually went to the track but stopped going because she is nearly nine months pregnant" and the couple also has a toddler. Many emails and phone calls have been coming from Marines who knew and respected Manny, saying that "he was a deeply religious family man with a non-confrontational nature" countering the picture of him being given by the sheriffs.

A further outrage in this case was revealed this week in the Los Angeles Times by the attorney for the Loggins family who reported that the Orange County sheriffs held Manny's two traumatized daughters for 13 hours after he was killed and refused to let them see their mother. The sheriffs "basically incarcerated them," he said, describing the daughters' treatment as "false imprisonment" where the sheriffs "probably kept asking them over and over what was going on till they got the answer they wanted."

The LA Times article indicated that the district attorney's office is dragging its feet when it told the Times that "the investigation could take six months to a year to complete."

We will be reporting more on the killing of Manny Loggins as events unfold in this case.

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