SACRAMENTO (CBS) – After months of outrage and protests about police shootings in Sacramento, there are now written guidelines from the City Council for police actions that could become policy.
“This is a start, but we have a long way to go,” said Danielle Williams, a community organizer with Sacramento ACT.
For the first time, a Sacramento council member is putting a policy for police use of force on paper.
“The first step is to establish our expectations,” said Councilman Larry Carr at a recent council meeting.
Carr is proposing 12 points for police use of force. The policy is partially in response to Carr seeing video of the police shooting death of Joseph Mann back in July.
The policy calls for carrying non-lethal weapons, training in de-escalation and handling of people with mental illness. The proposal also includes, “do not shoot at moving vehicles unless the person poses a deadly threat by means other than the vehicle.”
And, “immediately release all video of a fatal incident after the video is viewed by the next of kin, provided it does not hamper the investigation.”
“We won’t be satisfied until it’s policy in the city of Sacramento,” said Williams.
Tim Davis, the head of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, says the department already does many of the points outlined by Carr.
He sees some red flags, specifically restricting shooting at a moving vehicle.. calling it “a bad idea…a vehicle is a deadly weapon.”
Davis also says the immediate release of police video “can place innocent lives at risk.”
Davis says he’s hoping to work with city officials to shape the policy.
Diversity within the department another topic for discussion next week.
“Key motivation is trust,” said Earnest Uwazi, a member of the Sacramento Community Police Commission.
He and other members generated 14 recommendations for increasing diversity and retaining officers, which they’ll present to council.
They include “community input in hiring a police chief”, “priority to local applicants”, and “incentives for bilingual officers.”
“That trust helps in terms of promoting police legitimacy, advancing public safety,” explained Uwazi.
The recommendations for police department diversity will be discussed in a public meeting on Monday.
The policy on use of force will be presented to the council on Thursday. It will be followed by four public meetings.