Family of DC library police officer shot during training wants answers

The family of a special police officer shot during an Aug. 4 training exercise at a D.C. library wants answers, and they’ve got lawyers on the case.

At a news conference outside the Anacostia Neighborhood Library on Friday afternoon, attorneys Chelsea Lewis and Chris Kleppin with KLK Law Group said that although no lawsuit had been filed yet, work is underway to pin down the facts surrounding 25-year-old Maurica Manyan’s death.

Attorney Chelsea Lewis speaks at a news conference outside the Anacostia Library on Aug. 19, 2022, surrounded by the family of library officer Maurica Manyan. (WTOP/Kristi King)

“What I want to make very clear is that the death of Officer Manyan should not have happened,” Lewis said. “It is very clear from what we’ve investigated thus far that her death was preventable, and the family and our law firm want to ensure that what happened to Officer Manyan does not happen to any other sisters, brothers, cousins or members of this community.”

Manyan’s four-year-old son holds a photo of his mother. (WTOP/Kristi King)

The lawyers and family are seeking more information about the resignation of Douglass Morency, director of public safety for the D.C. Public Library system, tendered in the hours following the library shooting.

Morency formally left the post this Thursday; neither a resignation letter nor a reason for his stepping down have been made public.

“We want to get our hands on those communications surrounding that resignation, we want to find out exactly what policies the library had that were violated,” Lewis said. “We intend to put that information together, and once we sit with the family, we’ll determine what the next course of action will be.”

Manyan, mother to a four-year-old whom she affectionately called “pumpkin,” was a library officer at DCPL’s Anacostia branch. She was among of group of people partaking in a de-escalation training inside the library involving ASP batons, handcuffs and plastic training guns.

According to court documents, a group of trainees gathered for a picture and had been teasing Manyan when Jesse Porter, the session’s instructor and a retired police lieutenant, pulled out his gun and shot her in the chest.

Porter told law enforcement he believed he pulled his training gun instead of a real firearm. He was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in Manyan’s death.

WTOP’s Kristi King and Jack Moore contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up