SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department released video from a vehicle that struck a protester on Saturday night.
The incident happened just after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The sheriff played the videos during a press conference and gave a narrative to them, but said he would not release the videos.
“While it is the policy of the sheriff’s department not to release in-car camera video to the public, this is an exceptional circumstance where much video has already been released and I wanted a full picture to be provided, not just partial,” he said.
The sheriff says the two vehicles were driven by deputies who were not involved in the protest, and were not part of any training or preparation that went into the night, nor were on the same radio channel that was used to communicate during the protest. The deputies had transferred an arrestee from an earlier unrelated incident.
The video shows protesters in the street, standing between the lanes with the occasional protester stepping in front of the car. Protesters were chanting Stephon Clark’s name, while some directed profanities and flipped off the deputy in the front vehicle.
As the deputy yelled for people to get away by the vehicle, saying, “Get away from my car, dude. Get away from my car,” more protesters gathered on the left side of his vehicle. During this time, the roadway in front of him is clear, aside from a couple of protesters standing in front of him for no more than a few seconds each. The majority of them are gathered on his left side.
The deputy in the first vehicle proceeds forward. As he does, protesters gather along the driver’s side of the second vehicle. The sounds of contact being made against the deputy’s vehicle can be heard. The sheriff showed off a footprint on one side of the vehicle and a dent in the driver’s side door.
“A female protester chose at this moment to bring her protest between the two vehicles,” Jones said, describing the moment 61-year-old Wanda Cleveland was struck by the deputy’s vehicle.
Both deputy vehicles continued down the street, unobstructed by the protesters. About 15 seconds after Cleveland was struck, the sound of the back window of the deputy’s vehicle.
Jones pointed part of the blame for the actions by protesters on paid protesters, but would not elaborate on who they were, who they were affiliated with or who was paying them.
When asked if the deputy’s actions were consistent with a hit-and-run, Jones said, “Only if the facts support an actual hit-and-run would that be concluded by the CHP.”
The California Highway Patrol is the investigating agency in the incident.
Jones said he has not spoken with the deputy who struck Cleveland, but he speculated the deputy acted out of fear.
“Normally I wouldn’t even offer an opinion, except I feel a little bit more comfortable doing so, because, again, the important part is the CHP is conducting the [investigation], they’re the experts,” he said.
The sheriff said the incident was an “unfortunate footnote” in an otherwise successful night where no other people were injured.
“They got to protest and have an outlet for their message and anger, emotion, in a constructive way that no more than minimally impacted other folks’ lives,” he said. “That really should have been the story of the night.”
No names of the officers involved have been released.