SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Family members of people killed by police gathered in Sacramento Wednesday to make a plea for changes in the way violent incidents are handled and investigated.
The demands were not new. But they are emboldened by the national movement for police reform.
“As we fight in this new civil rights movement, we demand change and we demand it now,” said Francis Nevarez, whose daughter was killed by police.
While the grief was real, the circumstances in each police-related death is often fuzzy.
Police say Gabby Nevarez stole a car and led police on a dangerous high speed pursuit before ramming several police vehicles.
Christine Vang’s son, Darrell Richards, was shot by Sacramento police after supposedly pointing a pellet gun at residents and SWAT officers pursuing him.
A body camera was accidentally turned off and the family has filed a civil suit in the case. Sacramento police said Wednesday they can’t comment on cases being litigated.
State police reforms are being adopted slowly, too slowly for protestors.
Sacramento Black Lives Matter is also criticizing local officials like the county’s district attorney, Anne Marie Schubert, who has labeled violent protesters as domestic terrorists.
“Which is a very inflammatory statement to make about people who are fighting for their right to not be killed by law enforcement,” said Tanya Faison, with Black Lives Matter.
Schubert’s office said Wednesday that she was specifically referring to a planned attack on her office by members of Sacramento ANTIFA which she says tried to burn down her office after the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin and not the peaceful protestors who marched earlier that evening.
Nevertheless, Black Lives Matter says confrontation by opposing groups are becoming more common.
While some families are fed up, others are realizing that change is a longterm proposition and they are determined to keep up the pressure.
Sacramento Black Lives Matter made a list of demands ranging from defunding police agencies to the firing of officers involved in unjustified shootings of civilians.