Despite the district attorney clearing sheriff's Deputy Darren Sandberg of wrongdoing in the February 2012 shooting death of Manuel Loggins at San Clemente High School, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has approved a settlement with the popular Marine sergeant's family.
It's unclear if the family will accept the deal to end their federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit. Their attorney Brian Dunn of the Cochran firm in Los Angeles was not available for comment.
Sandberg, who'd served in the Marines before joining the sheriff's department, shot and killed Loggins at the high school track where he held early-morning prayer walks with his daughters, who were in the back of the family SUV to witness the shooting. The sheriff's department and deputies union vehemently defended Sandberg, maintaining that Loggins crashed through a gate to reach the track, was acting erratically when confronted by the deputy and had to be taken out to protect the two girls. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced in October that his office was clearing Sandberg of criminal wrongdoing.
But Dunn, the Loggins family and everyone from Camp Pendleton brass down to co-workers of the slain man strongly defended the 31-year-old father of four as a thoughful, Christian family man.
With the revelation of the Board of Supervisors' settlement offer for an undisclosed amount, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriff's issued a release again damning Loggins for his actions that day, reiterated that the DA had produced findings favorable to Sandberg and noted the DA also found the deputy had no Taser or less-lethal options available to him, adding that the union backs the department's efforts to provide deputies the necessary tools and training.
Here is the full statement:
Deputies' Association Issues Statement on Settlement
District Attorney's Office Cleared Sheriff's Deputy of Criminal Wrongdoing in Feb. 7, 2012 Incident
SANTA ANA, CA, April 23, 2013-The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs issued the following statement on the decision by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to approve a settlement in a case related to a February 7, 2012 deputy-involved shooting in San Clemente:
"Following an exhaustive and independent investigation, the Orange County District Attorney's Office issued a September 28, 2012 report exonerating the deputy of any wrongdoing.
It is heartbreaking that Manuel Loggins created the situation that put his children in danger and ultimately cost him his life. While the actions of our deputy clearly prevented serious harm from coming to the Loggins children and other innocents that morning, the decision to use deadly force is the heaviest of burdens that come with the badge. It is a decision no law enforcement officer ever wants to be forced to make. This is clearly a tragedy for all involved – for the Loggins family, for the deputy, and for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
The District Attorney's investigation revealed the deputy did not have a Taser or any other viable less-lethal options available to him at the time of the shooting.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs supports the Sheriff's Department efforts to ensure every deputy and investigator assigned to field operations has access to additional less-lethal options, including Tasers and pepper spray, and is provided appropriate training."