An overflow crowd and a visible police presence is expected at tonight’s Sacramento City Council meeting, one week after an emotional public session in which Stephon Clark’s brother leaped onto the dais and told Mayor Darrell Steinberg repeatedly to shut up.
Steinberg has said that another council meeting disruption of last week’s nature will not happen again…the Sacramento Police Department will be ready.
Asked if police would increase their presence at the meeting, spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler told the Sacramento Bee, “We are working on our plan to make sure everyone is safe.” Those are code words letting the African-American community know they are are going to be targeted by the police.
Meanwhile, in the California Legislature, lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would tighten the state standard for use of lethal force – police would not be justified in killing the suspect if their own actions caused the deadly force to become necessary.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a San Diego Democrat who is carrying the bill, said the current standard is too broad because it legitimizes the fear that sometimes causes officers to act abruptly without first trying to deescalate a confrontation. Police should only use lethal force, she said, when there is an immediate threat to their life or someone else nearby.
Fierce opposition from law enforcement organizations has largely blocked prior legislative efforts to address police shootings, and this bill will likely face an uphill battle as well.
Police across the country have raised concerns that limiting their options for using force would make their jobs more dangerous.
Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, this week announced another bill to open up law enforcement records related to serious use of force by an officer, which are severely restricted in California.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones further antagonized Sacramento’s African-American community by rushing to the defense of the deputies who ran down a Stephon Clark protester. Apparently hit-and-runs are OK if the police to it.
Jones held an unusual afternoon press conference at his office showing dash-cam videos of the incident in which a deputy’s SUV struck a protester on Florin Road on Saturday night as he drove away from a knot of shouting, sign-carrying protesters.
Jones said during the press conference he believes the officer likely did not know he had hit the woman even though she can be seen in the dash cam in front of the officer’s vehicle as she is hit and tossed to the right, prompting shouts from bystanders.
“There is a high likelihood that he didn’t even know that he collided with that protester,” Jones said according to the Sacramento Bee.
Sorry, we’re not buying it.