By Marc Thompson
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones held a news conference Monday addressing the incident involving one of his deputies hitting a protester with his patrol car during demonstrations on Florin Road last Saturday night.
The deputy drove away from the scene after hitting activist Wanda Cleveland who was marching with a group of about 100 people that night.
“There’s a high likelihood that he didn’t even know that he collided with that protester,” Jones said.
After showing reporters dash cam video of Cleveland being hit by the patrol vehicle, Jones says his deputy may have been looking to his left at protesters who were hitting and kicking his car at the time and didn’t see that he hit Cleveland on his right.
“It could be that he didn’t feel safe to stop the vehicle or get out of the vehicle at that point or stop the vehicle,” Jones said.
Sheriff Jones says the directive that night was to give protesters their space, and that went as planned he said, as no officers or demonstrators were injured and no arrests were made when they squared off in the middle of Florin Road.
The two deputies he says were only in the area after responding to an unrelated call.
Cleveland’s attorney released a statement Monday in response to Sheriff Jones, reading in part:
“It is not possible that the officer did not see her. It appears from all evidence that he hit her intentionally. He drove away from an injured woman intentionally.”
Cleveland is considering suing the sheriff’s department.
Sheriff Jones says he hasn’t spoken directly with either of the deputies involved that night as CHP is handling the official investigation.