Mayor applauds Attorney General's report recommending changes to Sacramento police policies
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg Tuesday welcomed the release of a report by the state Department of Justice recommending policy and procedure changes at the Sacramento Police Department.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra conducted the review at the request of Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn after the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento Police officers last March.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, Becerra released his report in a news conference attended by Mayor Steinberg, Chief Hahn and Sacramento Pastor Anthony Sadler of Shiloh Baptist Church. The report found that the Sacramento Police Department’s policies are legally sound but nonetheless made 49 recommendations for changes that Becerra said would make the City a leader in the state and nation.
“Sacramento’s leaders should be recognized for reaching out and requesting assistance in this sensitive matter,” Becerra said.
The recommendations included modifications to the department’s use-of-force policy to more clearly articulate the sanctity of human life and prohibit chokeholds and shooting from or at a moving vehicle, among other things. The DOJ also recommends the city establish a use of force review board. Read the entire report here.
The report is completely separate from a criminal review of the Clark shooting being conducted by Becerra’s department, also at Hahn’s request. Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is also conducting a criminal review of the incident, in which officers apparently mistook Clark’s cell phone for a gun.
In the past year, the Sacramento Police have made a number of changes to improve transparency, safety and accountability, changes that were noted in the Department of Justice report. Every officer is now equipped with a body camera, and the expectations for how they are used are being written into policy. The City’s ordinance requiring release of video footage has been adopted by the state Legislature, and its city’s practice of releasing video quickly far exceeds the new state law. The Department has also implemented a foot pursuit policy, which it previously lacked.
Mayor Steinberg said Tuesday that “Xavier Becerra and his agency have done our Police Department, our City and our community a major service by helping push the change that Chief Hahn and the City Council started.”
“I am confident the Police Department will embrace the findings of this examination and put them into action, ensuring that we are a city where police and community work in partnership and where we lead the way to fairness and transparency,” he added.