SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The City of Sacramento is bracing for decision day in the Stephon Clark shooting. An announcement by the DA whether charges will be filed against the officers who killed Clark.
It’s a day that could bring mass protests.
The wait for that announcement is giving the city time to prepare and work to prevent violent reactions.
It’s been nearly a year since Stephon Clark was shot and the DA’s decision could come any day. However the decision comes down, it will likely bring an immediate reaction, but no one knows just what that reaction will be.
For the Sacramento founder of the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive Mark T. Harris, the wait for the DA announcement has been too long.
“I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised, I hope the DA recommends prosecuting those officers,” Harris said.
Harris says if the DA does not charge the officers in Stephon Clark’s death, Mayor Steinberg’s work leading up to the decision could work to diffuse the anger of those who would otherwise respond with violent protests.
“I think that the mayor delivering the State of the City at the Pannell Center in South Sacramento was more than symbolic, it was substantively important,” Harris said. “It was the mayor shining the light of the city on South Sacramento, within blocks of where Stephon Clark was murdered.”
At the State of the City address, Steinberg issued a direct apology to Clark’s family sitting in the crowd.
“I am deeply sorry for the pain that will always be with you,” Steinberg said.
The Mayor also allocated $200 million to bring jobs and housing to South Sacramento and other lower-income communities.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison issued a statement dismissing the effort, reading in part, “they are spending a lot of money and putting in a lot of time when all that they had to do was make sure these officers are fired.”
Steinberg’s long-time friend and political expert Doug Elmets called the Clark case a moment that will forever define Steinberg’s leadership.
“This decision could thrust Sacramento into the national spotlight in a very very ugly way,” Elmets said. “It is all going to come down to the emotions that exist when the decision is made.”
With a lot still in the air, many wonder if the mayor’s effort to respond to public outcry will be enough to keep the peace.
Steinberg has also met with city council members, members of Clark’s family, and faith-based leaders each Friday ahead of the impending announcement from the DA in an effort to ensure all stakeholders are being heard leading up to the decision.