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NOPD’s release of video of Arties Manning shooting raises concerns

3rd April 2017   ·   0 Comments

After the NOPD release of body camera video Wednesday showing the fatal Jan. 24 shooting of 26-year-old Arties Manning III, many have questioned the effectiveness of body cameras.

Manning, who was initially identified as an armed robbery suspect, was later cleared but is accused of pointing a gun at a plainclothes NOPD officer before he was fatally shot at an apartment complex in eastern New Orleans.



The officer-involved shooting occurred more than three years after the City of New Orleans began implementing a 492-point, federally mandated consent decree which seeks to bring the NOPD into compliance with federal standards for constitutional policing.

The consent decree has not been without its problems or hiccups. In 2015, a female NOPD officer turned off her body camera just moments before she shot a suspect in the head during a scuffle. The suspect managed to survive the incident but the incident went unreported by the NOPD for several days, leading to the resignation of then NOPD Supt, Ronal Serpas.

Manning’s mother, Natasha Manning, has not ruled out the possibility of her son owning a gun given the dangers associated with living in New Orleans these days, but has said repeatedly that her son would never point a gun at a policeman or anyone else.

“We have to be careful with body-worn cameras that we don’t put all the eggs in one basket,” Donovan Livaccari, attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, told WWL in a story that aired Wednesday night. “It’s really important to keep in mind it’s just one aspect of an investigation. (It) never tells the whole story.”

For Manning’s family, that’s certainly true. They question if he was holding a weapon at all. That kind of uncertainty has come up in other high-profile cases involving body cameras. Still, some believe they are necessary for keeping tabs on police actions.

“They do seem to be effective in changing, if not officers behavior, then the way people perceive what’s going on in their communities,” Marjorie Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana, told WWL. “But again, they’re only as good as the way they’re used.”

Body cameras have become a necessity for police departments across the country. The NOPD has been using them since 2014 after several police shootings involving African-American men across the country.

The use of body cameras has only grown. For groups like the ACLU, it’s helping police departments stay transparent. Esman said there has to be better oversight of their use.

“It’s important for police departments to emphasize to their officers that you have to use them, under whatever the criteria may be,” Esman said. “And to make sure they’re properly maintained so there won’t be malfunctions.”

Livaccari told WWL News that the NOPD has a good record in using the cameras but emphasizes no technology is perfect.

“I think that we’re in the infancy of the whole body worn camera era,” Livaccari said. “And the general public is going to have to decide whether the expense is worth what they get out of the deal.”

Officer Terrance Hillard, the seven-year NOPD veteran who shot Arties Manning, remains re-assigned to desk duty pending the completion of the case.

NOPD Supt. Micharl Harrison said there isn’t a timeline for when this investigation will be completed.

Members of the Manning family were joined by supporters, grassroots leaders and civil rights activists at a March 24 rally on the steps of the Orleans Parish Criminal Courthouse as they demanded justice for Arties Manning III.

The family said it wants the NOPD to admit it made a mistake in fatally shooting Arties Manning, who had no criminal record and was employed as a manager of a CBD business at the time of his death, and issue a public apology to the family.

The NOPD Public Integrity Bureau’s probe of the fatal shooting is being closely watched by the Independent Police Monitor and the federal consent decree monitor, Sheppard, Mullin, Hampton $ Richter.

In the meantime, the family has been pleading with any potential witnesses to come forward and share what they know, saw or heard with the MacArthur Justice Center by calling (504) 620-2259 or by sending an email to admin!

This article originally published in the April 3, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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