SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento City Council held their much-anticipated meeting surrounding possible police reform in the City of Sacramento Wednesday.
Topics ranged from mental health to creating new oversight positions. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, a call for significant police reform has swept the nation.READ MORE: Boy, 8, Hailed A Hero After Discovering Baby Sister Unresponsive In Pool
For weeks, protesters have flooded the streets of major cities, including Sacramento. Cesar Chavez park, across the street from City Hall, has acted as a home-base here in the city for groups demanding change. It’s been weeks of unwavering dedication to a movement with the goal of changing policing as we know it.
“You know our city has been under a lot of stress and it’s been very costly in many ways,” Vice Mayor Jeff Harris said in the meeting Wednesday.
Demonstrations pushed Sacramento City Council to hold a special meeting to strictly discuss policing.
“I see this as someone of an insurance policy for the public trust,” Harris said.
The city council is trying to improve that trust by unveiling a slate of new police reform initiatives.
“One is to forevermore to have independent review when it comes to officer-involved shootings,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.
An inspector general would be authorized to investigate officer-involved shootings and use of force incidents.READ MORE: Man Apologizes After Video Shows Street Vendor Attacked
Police reform advocates like Ken Oliver, the policy director for Prisoners with Children, are pushing for community involvement across the board.
“If it’s third-party and independent I think it’s a good idea, but I also think it has to be in conjunction with being community-based,” Oliver said. “We’ve seen across this country that police aren’t held accountable even when the special task force is involved or special prosecutors are involved so we need community members.”
City council is considering having community organizations responding to certain 911 calls as opposed to requiring officer involvement. Mayor Steinberg called mental health the “unaddressed issue of our time.”
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Corrine McIntosh Sako says a lot is being asked of police.
“[Police are asked] to assume many different roles that they don’t necessarily have experience or the training to do, and we see the level of brutality and violence because of that,” Dr. McIntosh Sako said.
The council will also take another look at recommendations that were issued by the police review commission following the shooting death of Stephon Clark in 2018, like drug testing police officers after the use of deadly force.
They’re also considering supporting having the attorney general’s office independently investigating officer-involved shootings.MORE NEWS: Folsom Shuts Sutter Street Down To Open Businesses
The new ideas are inspired by the community to help make Sacramento safer. City staff will have 45 days to figure how to adopt these changes and then they’ll have to report back to the city council.