Community Commission Assesses Sacramento Police Procedures

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SACRAMENTO -- In light of recent incidents, such as Stephon Clark's shooting death and the in-custody death of Brandon Smith, the relationship between police and the community they are sworn to protect has been severely strained.

The Sacramento Community Police Review Commission has been working since last year to repair that relationship.

"People want to see a change," said Basim Elkara, who chairs the Police Review Commission. "They are not here to complain. They are here to really think things through."

Elkarra and his team led the conversations Thursday night on topics such as use of force by police and body-worn cameras.

"Accountability. It's got to be accountability. You cannot continue to shoot people and use force upon people without any consequence," said resident Mikaili Kamau.

"I mean, I have a 14-year-old nephew and he's afraid of police, you know?" said resident Kula Koenig.

"You know, if we can change policy to save human lives, everyone is for it," Elkara said.

Still, there was a lot of optimism in the room Thursday night. The commission will take what they've been gathering and make their own recommendation to the council.

"We're bringing up really good issues in there, really good suggestions but the thing is they're only going to make a recommendation," Koenig said. "So is the council going to take that recommendation?"

"I think what I am most encouraged by is the transparency," said resident Jackie Boor. "The opportunity for people to really understand a particular crime or incident because law enforcement knows that honesty is the way to build trust."

The commission hopes to have the recommendations go before the council in the fall.

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