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City Council Reviews 84 Stephon Clark Protest Arrests, Hears From Police Chief

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New video shows what police saw from the air as protesters gathered in East Sacramento last week. It was a demonstration that ended in 84 arrests and put the chief in the spotlight.
In a surprise presentation that was held without advance notice Tuesday afternoon at City Hall, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn outlined why there were so many arrests on March 4. He also spoke about what changes his department is considering.
“I never promised that issues or mistakes would not arise under my leadership,” Hahn said. “There’s no doubt that last weeks protest ended differently than most previous protests in our city.”
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It was Sacramento’s largest mass-arrest in recent memory with 84 people taken into custody while demonstrating against last year’s police shooting of Stephon Clark.
Hahn said there were arrests last week but not during larger and more disruptive demonstrations because, “there have been times in past protests where officers did witness smashing a window or something like that, but because of the size of the crowd and only a couple officers present, they didn’t have the ability to safely carry something out.”
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A review by the city’s Director of Public Safety Accountability says mistakes were made. One issue was when officers in riot gear threatened to use lethal force during PA announcements, declaring the protest an unlawful assembly.
Many complain it made the situation worse. The goal of the review is to try and ensure the next protest ends differently.
Tuesday’s city council meeting ended abruptly when a protester began shouting. The Mayor says this police review is crucial to protecting the public’s right to peacefully protest.

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