SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg knows too well how a protest or demonstration could be good for the city or terribly bad for the residents and law enforcement. Just like a raging storm, a protest of racial injustice is blowing toward Sacramento, Steinberg said.
In the wake of the police-involved shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., Mayor Steinberg called for a virtual meeting on April 14 to talk about public safety and how the city police will approach upcoming demonstrations.
Sacramento Police chief Daniel Hahn was a participant in the emergency meeting, too. Preparation is a factor, the mayor and top cop said.
“We want to be prepared because we think that gives us the best chance to respect and uphold the people who come out to make sure their voice is heard and at the same time protect people and protect property as well,” Steinberg said.
Steinberg said the impromptu meeting was the start of a critical discussion and a warning. He also said that the city and police would “uphold peaceful protests,” but there would be no room to allow protesters a chance at “destroying property or hurting people,” he said.
“We always want to focus on deescalation wherever possible,” said Steinberg. The mayor’s Greenhaven home was vandalized by protestors in February. During the closed-session meeting, he stressed his concern for local businesses that could be targets of looting.
A white former suburban Minneapolis police officer fatally shot the 20-year-old Black motorist during a traffic stop last weekend. Wright’s death set off days of unrest and physical confrontation between protesters and police.
The shooting death of Wright happened at a time where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for pinning George Floyd’s neck to the pavement with his knee for nearly 10 minutes on May 25, 2020.
Kim Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter of Wright, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. She faces a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The announcement came a day after Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where she had served for 26 years. Police Chief Tim Gannon also resigned Tuesday.