Jeffrey Mann, Georgia’s DeKalb County Sheriff, was arrested in Atlanta on Saturday after attempting to run away from a police officer who claimed to have seen him exposing himself in a city park. Days after his arrest, a video of the incident, taken from a nearby homeowner’s security camera, is being shared online.
Mann was detained around 11 p.m. on Saturday night when the police officer said he spotted him exposing himself in an area of the park that is famous for “sexual acts after dark.” The officer shined his flashlight on the sheriff, after which he “immediately fled on foot.”
“I allowed the male to get approximately 7 to 10 feet from me before I used my flashlight to shine it on the male. The male immediately fled on foot. I ran behind the male while yelling, ‘Police. Stop!'” the officer said.
Realizing that he couldn’t outrun the officer, Mann gave up. While in handcuffs, he requested to speak with the officer’s supervisor and asked to go to his car to retrieve his ID. For safety reasons, the officer declined the request, only later learning at the precinct that he had a local sheriff in custody.
The resident whose security camera caught captured the ordeal spoke out, saying, “The man is definitely unfit for his office. He has betrayed everyone, including the people who look up to him and respect him. But, what a joke. I didn’t know who he was when he was running, but he definitely was trying to get away from that officer who was chasing him.”
In a statement sent to local media, a DeKalb representative said:
Sheriff Mann would like to thank his supporters for the many phone calls and prayers he received over the weekend. While Sheriff Mann would like to address his supporters and the public, I have instructed him not to make any statements regarding the ordinance violations he is facing. Similarly, as is my general practice, I will not discuss the charges at this time. Sheriff Mann will continue to run the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at the level of excellence it is known for and in keeping with what the citizens of DeKalb County expect and deserve. He asks that you respect that this is a personal matter, which should have no bearing on the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and its staff. He has great respect for the men and women of law enforcement and he asks that you continue your support of them and the public service they provide.
The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, made up of public officials from all over the state, has launched an investigation into the incident. Mann was charged with indecency and obstruction and has insisted that the incident was a misunderstanding. He is reportedly working with the city of Atlanta to clear his name.