South L.A. pastor arrested outside Mayor Garcetti’s house on suspicion of stalking
A South Los Angeles pastor was arrested Tuesday outside the home of Mayor Eric Garcetti on suspicion of felony stalking after appearing several days on the Windsor Square block, where he said he was calling on Garcetti to help homeless people.
Bail was set for Sherman Manning, who leads the Yes We Can! Worship Center, at $150,000, according to Los Angeles Police Department arrest records. As of Friday afternoon, he had not been charged, according to the district attorney’s office.
Garcetti, his wife Amy Wakeland and their daughter also obtained a temporary restraining order Friday against Manning requiring him to stay at least 100 yards away from them and their home.
In a legal declaration, Wakeland said that Manning had shouted “incoherent messages” at them, taken video footage of her and her minor daughter, seemed to be fixated on her because of chants such as “Amy for President,” and “attempted to engage with my daughter by smiling at her.”
Her daughter had been awakened at night and prevented from doing schoolwork because of the noise Manning was making outside, she stated. Wakeland said that because of his behavior and his criminal history, she could no longer allow her daughter and babysitter to leave the house when Manning was nearby “because I am fearful for their safety.”
Manning denied doing anything to harass the family before his arrest and called her account “fictitious allegations,” saying he was unaware that the mayor had a daughter.
“My fixation is on the homeless,” he said.
The pastor said that for several days he had been walking up and down the block outside the Windsor Square residence, calling for urgent action to house homeless people on skid row during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In one video broadcast on Facebook, Manning said, “The homeless have no place in which to shelter — and they have been left for dead.” He said he wants the mayor to commandeer hotels and the convention center to house people. At one point, Manning said that three homeless people from skid row had joined him and slept outside on the Windsor Square block.
One video viewed by The Times, recorded before he was arrested Tuesday, shows a woman accompanied by police officers outside the Garcetti residence, complaining that Manning was terrorizing her daughter and mentioning that he was convicted of rape.
“Leave my house!” she shouted.
The pastor, whose convictions include forcible sodomy and oral copulation, replied that he had indeed been convicted and spent decades in prison, but said that regardless, “You don’t think I have a right to peaceably assemble right here?” In a later interview, Manning said he had been wrongfully convicted.
John Isen, who sits on the advisory board of the Yes We Can! Worship Center and bailed Manning out of jail, argued that Garcetti was “finding ways to suppress the 1st Amendment rights to free speech.” Isen said it was “laughable” that Wakeland would be fearful of Manning in light of the police presence at the home.
A hearing was set in May for a permanent restraining order.
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