SACRAMENTO — Sacramento City Councilman Allen Wayne Warren, the representative of District 2, has announced that he is pulling back his endorsement of Anne Marie Schubert, the incumbent Sacramento County District Attorney.

Warren told The OBSERVER that he endorsed Schubert “months ago,” but has since decided that he can no longer place confidence in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office under the current administration.

Warren expressed that it was “not an easy decision” to rescind his support. But certain activities and issues played into him rethinking how the criminal justice system treats certain people, especially African Americans.

“I am rescinding my endorsement,” Warren said. “Initially when I made my endorsement, it was based on me really giving the (District Attorney’s) office the benefit of the doubt that the criminal justice system would be applied equally across all sectors of our society. As issue after issue has arisen, I’ve become concerned that the criminal justice system is continually, more heavily weighted against people of color as well people of lower means, lower incomes. Those who are less equal to defend themselves.”

Ms. Schubert is running for her second term against candidate Noah Phillips in the June 5 primary. Philips is also a longtime prosecutor in the County D.A.’s office. Warren said his decision to rescind his endorsement of Schubert does not means he is crossing over to Philips’ side.

“This is about Schubert’s office,” Warren said in response. “As a community leader and elected official, I have the luxury of giving that important office the benefit of the doubt. I need certainty. And at this point, I don’t have certainty that the justice system is fair.”

Warren said he would reach out to Ms. Schubert to tell her and explain to her his intention. He also released a one-page written statement citing that he had been “carefully listening, observing, and gathering facts” about social injustices on the national, state, and local levels.

Since Stephon Clark was shot numerous times by two police officers in the back yard of his grandmother’s South Sacramento house on March 18, Schubert’s office has been the focus of protests — mainly for how she has handled other officer-involved shootings over the last four years.

At a news conference last month, she referred to local law enforcement agencies as “partners” and that her office, based on the law, first looks to see if such cases can be “proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” Her office has the authority to decide whether cases are filed or not filed for prosecution.

As D.A., Schubert has yet to charge any officer for excessive use of force, including the two officers who shot and killed Joseph Mann on July 11, 2016.

At the moment, City Council members Angelique Ashby, Steve Hansen, Eric Guerra, Jeff Harris, Rick Jennings, Larry Carr, Jay Schenirer and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg still support Ms. Schubert.

“Anne Marie Schubert has been an outstanding District Attorney for Sacramento County,” Steinberg said in a written statement in November 2017. “District Attorney Schubert is a career prosecutor who has a long and successful record of prosecuting dangerous individuals in our community. Anne Marie also has a proactive vision about public safety—that we are safer as a community if we prevent crime by investing in prevention programs and engage our community. That is why I am supporting her for reelection.”

Warren is now the lone wolf, politically departing from the pack. He said he understands that the district attorney is the most powerful position in the criminal justice system, but the county office may not be performing up to public safety standards.

“I really hope that I get to a point where I can endorse someone for this position. But at this point, I don’t feel comfortable in doing it,” Warren told the OBSERVER. “Hopefully, the fact that we’re having this discussion, the fact that I’m rescinding this endorsement will probably receive some attention. Hopefully, it will allow for a deeper look into how things are being handled and that we can make some changes that will create a much better society.”
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer