SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The city of Sacramento is taking a hard look at its progress on police reform almost one year after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“I just really think that all that’s happened has not been enough and hasn’t sent a clear message because we continue to see people being murdered,” said Berry Accius, founder of Voice of the Youth, a Sacramento-based mentor and leadership program.
Social justice activists like Accius say nationwide not enough has been done to make communities of color safer, not even in Sacramento, which has taken a number of steps to improve relations between people and police.
Recently, the city established an independent inspector general to investigate officer-involved shootings, but it came a little too late for Accius.
“It would have been a step in the right direction when we asked for that same policy in 2014,” he told FOX40.
Another change by Sacramento city leaders was forming an outreach team to respond to emergency calls that do not require an armed response.
“That reform will reduce the conflict, the tension and the tragedy that can too often occur when someone who is in crisis is confronted by somebody in a uniform with a gun and a button,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
In early May, the mayor and city council took the recommendations of the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission to make the use of force a last-resort option for officers.
“I think that the combination, in addition to other changes, will lead to fewer tragedies in our community and that’s what we all want,” Steinberg said.
But for those demanding improved policing, Sacramento still has a long way to go.
“Real, true change looks like this: When an officer gets fired for misconduct, he can never be an officer again,” Accius explained. “You can not legislate people’s hearts, but you can legislate the rules and the laws.”
But Mayor Steinberg says the city is on its way.
“We have more work to do, but the city is moving in the right direction,” he explained. “We want to be on the front end of the change in this country.”
The Sacramento City Council will take up an official vote on police use-of-force policy at a meeting scheduled for June 1.