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Hero Down: DC Public Library Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan Fatally Shot During Baton Training

Washington, DC – District of Columbia Public Library Office of Public Safety (DCPLOPS) Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan was fatally shot in the line of duty while attending a training session at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library on Aug. 4.

The incident occurred inside the library on Good Hope Road Southeast at approximately 3:30 p.m., WTOP reported.

DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee said the department received a report of a shooting and responded to find a female DCPLOPS officer unconscious and suffering from a gunshot wound, according to WJLA.

Special Officer Manyan, 25, was rushed to an area hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Police said retired MPD Lt. Jesse Porter, 58, is now a professional instructor who conducts training sessions for current law enforcement officers, according to WJLA.

According to court documents, Porter told investigators that he and a group of approximately five trainees were “joking around” as they gathered to take a picture after wrapping up an Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) baton training class at the library that day, WTOP reported.

Porter, who retired from the MPD two years ago, was the class instructor.

Just before they took the photo, Officer Manyan stopped them so she could remove her facemask, according to court documents.

As her classmates jokingly teased her, Porter pulled his gun from his holster and fired at her, striking her in her chest, WTOP reported.

The incident was captured by a security camera.

“I thought I had my training gun,” Porter told the first officer who arrived at the scene. “Why did I do this? Is she OK?”

The video showed Porter and multiple trainees as they administered CPR on the wounded officer immediately after the shooting, WTOP reported.

Police said Porter “appeared distraught and very remorseful,” according to court documents.

Others who participated in the training told police that Porter had pointed an orange training gun at Officer Manyan earlier in the day after the special officer made a funny comment, WTOP reported.

One witness said the instructor “appeared to be playing around” and that he often does so to “not make the training dry,” according to court documents.

Chief Contee said the instructor and trainees were all taken to the MPD’s homicide office for interviews, WJLA reported.

Porter declined to answer detectives’ questions, according to WTOP.

MPD Spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck announced on Friday that Porter has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Officer Manyan’s death, The Washington Post reported.

His preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 1, according to WTOP.

Chief Contee told reporters on Thursday that a full investigation is ongoing and that the initial findings are preliminary, but he noted that it is “not good practice” to have live weapons at training sessions, WJLA reported.

“I don’t have answers as to why the firearm was at the ASP baton training,” he said.

He said the incident was “tragic” and “unfortunate,” WTOP reported.

“My condolences to the family of the deceased library police officer and to their entire agency,” Chief Contee said.

Special Officer Manyan joined the DCPLOPS in February, the DC Public Library said in a press release on Aug. 5.

She leaves behind a four-year-old son and had recently purchased her own vehicle and home, her family told WUSA.

“I looked up to her. There was no one more positive. A better heart. She’d do anything for you,” her brother, Radcliffe Manyan, told the news outlet. “I can’t describe how much I miss my sister.”

The DC Public Library said the loss of Special Officer Manyan has been heartbreaking for those who knew her.

“We are very saddened by the death of our colleague, Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan,” the DC Public Library said in the press release. “Since starting in February, Maurica was known in the Library for her warm, bubbly personality. Our thoughts are with Maurica’s family, and the DCPL family, especially our colleagues in the Office of Public Safety, as we mourn the loss of Maurica together.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of District of Columbia Public Library Office of Public Safety Special Police Officer Maurica Manyan, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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