At the time of his death he was continuing to grow in the fullness of his potential. No matter where he went he had his bible in his hand, a testament to his new found faith that he used to bring his family closer together through the church. He raised his daughter and his nieces and nephews with the understanding that because they were Black their conduct must reflect the understanding that being killed by police was a very real possibility for them and would always be justified by the broader society.
Still, we never thought we would see him dead at the hands of the police. We are heartbroken and angry that his life was taken by unaccountable officers of the state. We call on our community to pressure the police department and the mayor to release the identities of the officers who killed Manuel, their disciplinary records, complaint history to the public and all autopsy records and information gathered on Manuel to his family. We also call on our community to prevent all media and government prosecution of Manuel in the public sphere.
We thank you all for hearing us. Please join us in fundraising for our legal fees and other needs as we navigate this difficult time. While we are in immense pain we rest our hope in the community of committed freedom fighters that we are now joining.
- Claire Plourde
- Halley Knigge
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