SACRAMENTO — A gathering at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento had to be moved to a larger room Thursday as the faithful and pastors from throughout the city gathered.
Then it was onto the streets, replicating marches held over the past several days.
N Street traffic was stopped briefly then marchers headed the wrong way up the one-way street. Their destination was the State Capitol, where they expressed their support for Assembly Bill 392.
AB 392 removes criminal protections for police officers from prosecution in deadly force cases when negligence may be involved.
“We’re here standing collectively saying enough is enough, not one more life lost,” said Pastor Les Simmons with Sacramento Area Congregations Together.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, is a co-author of AB 392. He cited the state attorney general’s investigation exonerating the officers in the Clark shooting.
“What he said that day is, ‘I followed the book, I did it by the book,'” McCarty said. “You know what that means, it’s time to rewrite the book.”
Stephon Clark’s brother and grandmother were not scheduled to speak but support the effort.
“We don’t want anything similar to what happened to my brother happen to anybody else’s family member, grandson,” said Stevante Clark.
The Sacramento Police Officers Association says officers can only act on the information they have at the time and that AB 392 can endanger the community.
“If a bill mandates officers retreat that leaves the citizens and the criminals alone and no officer there to intervene,” said SPOA President Timothy Davis.
“That’s not accurate,” McCarty said. “Cities like Seattle and San Francisco are doing this, just bring about smarter police practices.”
SPOA is backing an alternate state bill that mandates that police forces in the state review their use of force policies and increase training to implement those policies.
Meanwhile, even supporters of AB 392 know the bill faces an uphill battle getting passed.