Auburn, WA: While the nation roils over the treatment of black people by law enforcement, a case last month shows the struggles faced daily by the community beyond the misuse of deadly force.
On May 15, 2020, Black Excellence in Cannabis member and co-founder Peter Manning’s box truck was struck in a hit and run accident.
While in traffic along SW Campus Drive around the 200 block in Federal Way, he heard a siren and saw lights in the rear view mirror to see an Auburn SWAT Police van racing up, so he tried to pull forward to the right to get out of the way.
Unfortunately, he was unable to get all the way over, and the van struck his truck in the back, then sideswiped it and raced off, basically a felony hit and run by the officer in the police van.
Manning went on to tell 420leaks that he tried unsuccessfully to report the incident to the Federal Way Police dept, the town where the accident with the Auburn PD Van.
“I went and tried to file a complaint, but the clerk refused to believe me. She said there was no way a cop would do that.”
At his insistence, he filed a report anyway.
He then tried to get help from a local attorney who refused to look into it, basically stating the same as the clerk at the Federal Way Police Dept. He doubted Mr. Manning as well.
However, the report Manning gave appears to have disappeared, and the file created for the incident shows that no further investigation appears imminent. Case closed.
Mr. Manning then contacted the news media and was given the same response as the clerk at the Federal Way police station and by the attorney. In other words, nobody would believe a cop would run after hitting his vehicle.
420leaks has learned through a public records request to the Auburn Police Department that not only did the incident in question take place, but fault is is admitted to by the officers after the fact.
The files also show photos of the damage to the police van on the passenger side, exactly as Manning described it would be before he even saw the police photos shown to him by us.
After dismissing his uncooperative attorney, Mr Manning is now being represented by Kannin Law Firm out of Burien..
We can only imagine what would have happened to Mr. Manning if the roles were reversed and it was him who struck the police van. No expenses would have been spared to track him down and bring him into custody, even if it meant the use of deadly force.
It now appears the Federal Way PD declined to investigate or prosecute and instead handed it back to the Auburn PD to investigate themselves.
While the accident may have been understandable since the officer was on his way to a domestic dispute call, the behavior by authorities and the treatment of Mr. Manning after the fact shows that not only do the police have to change their culture, the attorneys representing victims of police abuse must change as well. The press as well.
We will continue to update this story and hope Mr. Manning gets fair compensation for his damages.
John Novak contributed to this story
Black Entrepreneurs File Federal Lawsuit Against U.S. Attorney General For Discrimination in the Cannabis IndustryPlaintiffs Aaron Barfield and Peter Manning are turning to the U.S. federal courts for justice after years of working for inclusion for African Americans in their state’s lucrative recreational cannabis market.
FEBRUARY 2022 UPDATE
The lawsuit alleges the city is responsible for the victim’s injuries.