The family of an officer who was accidentally shot dead during a training session last year has shared shocking footage of the tragedy.
Jesse Porter, 58, was conducting a session on baton use at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library when he fired a shot that killed DC Public Libraries Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan, 25. Porter, who retired as a Metro PD lieutenant in 2020, was sentenced to three years in prison last month over the August 2022 shooting.
Manyan’s family has now released surveillance video of the shooting through their attorney Latoya Francis-Williams, who also announced that she intends to file a lawsuit against the city. The footage shows Manyan and four other officers posing for a picture just moments before the tragedy unfolded.
Porter is then seen drawing his gun, which he reportedly believed was a dummy training gun. The weapon went off, striking Manyan in the chest and fatally injuring her.
“It is our belief that the District of Columbia’s practice of allowing a firearm in a training session was the cause of the shooting,” Ms Francis-Williams told The Independent on Thursday. This would not have happened if the weapon was properly taken from Mr Porter.”
In the video, Porter can be seen pacing back and forth across the room.
After help is called, Porter and other witnesses begin performing CPR on Manyan. She was eventually transported to a hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after.
Witnesses who were in the training said that Porter and the officers “were all joking with the decedent that [Manyan] was never ready,” according to court documents.
Manyan had been an officer with DC Public Libraries for a year before her death. Her cousin Leo Richards told NBC that he couldn’t sleep after watching the video of Manyan’s shooting.
“I couldn’t sleep last night, because that image just kept replaying every time I closed my eyes last night, and that’s the reason I didn’t want to see it,” Mr Richards told the network.
Manyan was also a mother. Mr Richards said that her son was still grieving from the loss.
“It’s hard to watch him break down at times,” Mr Richards said. “A 5-year-old breaking down and saying, ‘I wish my mother could come back to life, I wish my mother was here, I wish that man never killed my mother.’ It’s hard to hear that.”
Ms Francis-Williams told The Independent that she planned to file the lawsuit against the city within the next month. The attorney said that the family was open to discussing a settlement but is also ready to go to trial.
In the aftermath of Manyan’s shooting, her family has advocated for the use of metal detectors in DC libraries. The family has previously argued that Porter, as a civilian, should have never been allowed to enter the library with a weapon.
Porter is currently serving three years in prison following a plea agreement with the prosecution, in which he pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.