City Prepares for D.A. Decision on Stephon Clark

SACRAMENTO -- Behind closed doors, in a meeting not open to the press, Sacramento's mayor and black community leaders try to talk the city out of more of the heated scenes that filled city streets last March.

That's the dialogue on deck as everyone waits to see if the district attorney will find police officers at fault for killing an unarmed black man for the first time in her tenure.

The man at the center of the decision? 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was shot to death in his grandmother's backyard while holding a cell phone, not the gun police first thought.

"It's insulting. It's insulting to me."

That's what Rashid Sidqe had to say about the tone of the invite-only meeting with Mayor Steinberg.

He runs the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive or LEAD.

Were community leaders being asked to sort of guarantee that the city won't burn if no officer is found at fault?

"I think this is pretty much that type of meeting.  And I'm sure the mayor and other city council member folks who are not concerned about our community... they don't want us in their downtown and are trying to keep whatever our reactions are in our community," said Sidque.

FOX40 heard, "no comment," from several others who rushed past our camera, unwilling to share their assessment of the discussion.

When we first asked Mayor Steinberg what the meeting was about he said, "how we move our city toward more investment in young people, more investment in neighborhoods."

But with an agenda FOX40 obtained that referenced a plan for shared messaging leading up to the decision and where people can gather the day of the decision, we asked again about managing community reaction to a D.A. ruling on Stephon Clark.

"Yes of course that was a part of the subject matter here. I wanted to make sure our community both keeps the peace and pursues justice," he said.

"And the two cannot be opposites.  We have to do both."

To further clarify, we asked if this was a 'don't disrupt the city' kind of meeting.

"No..no," said the mayor.

FOX40 explained to Steinberg that some attending the forum described feeling like that's what they were hearing.

"I don't think they would tell you that...but if that's what they say... ok...but that's not what this was about," Steinberg said.

Next week city leaders will discuss an ordinance banning weapons, like plastic  pipes, at the kind of protests that may occur after the district attorney makes her decision in the case of Stephon Clark.

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