LOS ANGELES - A South LA pastor speaks out about LAPD arresting him on suspicion of stalking outside the mayor’s home Tuesday.
Pastor of Yes We Can! Worship Center Sherman Manning says he had been advocating for the homeless during this COVID-19 pandemic outside LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home in Windsor Square for four days.
Manning says he was trying to get the mayor to temporarily house the homeless who are living on Skid Row in empty hotel rooms, the convention center and possibly even available college dorms.
“Many of them who don’t even have a tent,” says Pastor Manning. “What they do is ride the buses and Metro all night long and sleep on the buses. If one of them has coronavirus, all of us have coronavirus. We simply want the mayor to use his immense power to take care of the homeless.
What he did to me on Tuesday was an abuse of power and it is wrong.” The mayor’s wife, Amy Wakeland told investigators Pastor Manning seemed to be fixated on their daughter, a minor and made her feel very uncomfortable. Manning says he did not see her or even know they had a child.
Wakeland was fearful for her family’s safety because of Manning’s previous criminal convictions that include forcible sodomy and oral copulation.
Pastor Manning says he was wrongfully convicted and is currently fighting those convictions in federal court. “I served my time so if you believe that I committed the crime, the time has been served,” he told FOX 11.
Since he’s been out of prison, Manning says he’s spent his time caring for the homeless, recently hosting an event with the help of McCoy Memorial Baptist Church to give the homeless clothes, food, and toiletries.
Attorney John Isen who serves on the Advisory Board for Yes We Can! Worship Center says Manning was exercising his right to free speech. “Any constitutionally protected activity for the exercise of the first amendment cannot be considered in the crime of stalking.”
Mayor Garcetti does have police security at his home.
The mayor, his wife, and their daughter obtained a restraining order, requiring Pastor Manning to stay at least 100 yards away from them and their home.
A hearing for a permanent restraining order is set for later this month.