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In Anticipation of Protests, Security Increased at Downtown Commons

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SACRAMENTO -- Parts of Downtown Commons around the Golden 1 Center were fenced off Monday in anticipation of protests.

Certain parts of DOCO, including some retailers, will only be accessible to those with tickets to the Sacramento Kings game in the evening.

Inside the arena earlier Monday, Kings players were aware of the possibility of protests in the evening.

"We talk about it a little bit, but we just try to focus on the things we can control and that’s being professionals," point guard Frank Mason said.

The city has been bracing for protests in the days leading up to and immediately after District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's announcement that she would not file criminal charges against the two police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark nearly a year ago.

Clark's death led to weeks of protests in Sacramento. Demonstrators blocked access to two Kings games during that time.

While some players on the Kings roster were here during last year's protests, others were not.

"We just want everybody to be safe," small forward Corey Brewer said. "We know last year they shut the arena down, but this year hoping everybody is safe and nothing goes wrong."

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Employees at nearby stores were warned about the security situation in the morning.

"When I got here they had to escort me over here, so it was an interesting experience," said Andy's Candy employee Brenden Southerland.

However, by the evening there were no disruptions whatsoever.

"I am very thankful for the community leadership that has stepped up not to contain but to make sure that we do our very best to keep the peace," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Steinberg said before the game he would support protesters so long as they remained peaceful.

He said the city will prepare for more protests this week, believing Sacramento can be a model for communities across the country that have dealt with unrest and protest.

"We can show the country violence does not have to beget violence," he told FOX40.

The mayor says this week the city will continue to take precautions for potential protests downtown. Two Kings games are scheduled for this week, and a concert is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Sacramento Regional Transit said trains and buses were running normally but it would keep an eye on any possible disruptions.

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