Sacramento City Council Walks Out Amid Police ‘Use of Force’ Discussion

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SACRAMENTO -- Loud cries for justice echoed in Sacramento's City Council Chambers after council members left the room, shutting down the meeting.

"Police brutality is murdering my neighbors," shouted Reverend Ronald Bell of Clear As A Bell COGIC.

The council exited in the face of support shown for more police accountability -- something they said was disrupting discussion about possible new use of force guidelines for city officers.

The 18 shots fired at Joseph Mann in July were much on the mind of many in the room as his family has filed a wrongful death suit against the city as dash cam video has shown police tried to target the mentally ill man with their cruiser before he was shot to death.

Officers say they took aim because he was acting erratically and was reportedly armed with a gun and knife.

"They did not follow protocols.  Anybody can watch the video over and over like I did and watch my friend get murdered by the Sacramento Police Department," Doralle Tryial told council members through tears.

After the council returned to chambers, citizens took them to task for looking at use of force tweaks and not addressing improvements to the police oversight commission that may make officers follow existing policies.

"I'm very concerned to see to this policy coming from the out-of-touch council rather than from the commission," complained Carly Brannin.

They demanded a commission that is 100 percent civilian-led and has subpoena power.

Mayor Pro Tem Larry Carr tried to explain council goals, while others offered concerns showing why creating new policy can take time.

"This meeting was to get the council's input on those things that we didn't want to see our police department doing," said Carr.

"It doesn't feel like we've grasped something new that's going to change something or do something different," said Councilwoman Angelique Ashby about the new use of force proposals.

Decorum broken down again when councilman Steve Hansen said he was disappointed with the public disruption of the discussion.

One man stood up and turned his back on the council and Hansen asked for him to be escorted out.

One woman screamed that Hansen was an "f-ing coward," as she stomped out of chambers in protest.

Mayor Kevin Johnson and Councilman Rick Jennings did not attend the meeting.

The Sacramento police kept quiet on the new use of force ideas, refusing to give any department statement Thursday.

The council hopes to vote on a new policy on Nov. 22 after a series of community meetings.