By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has announced her candidacy for California Attorney General. In doing so, she has decided to give up her seven-year run as the County’s top prosecutor. The OBSERVER takes a look at some of the key events during her time as D.A.
June 3: Ms. Schubert is elected Sacramento County District Attorney, replacing Jan Scully. Ms. Scully, who decided not to run for another term after 20 years as D.A., endorses Ms. Schubert.
July 11: Joseph Mann is shot multiple times by officers in North Sacramento and dies. The officers, who were responding to a call from area residents about erratic behavior by Mann, who was holding a knife, said they shouted unheeded commands for Mann to drop the blade.
September: The city council views about one minute and 13 seconds of video footage — graphically showing the final seconds of Joseph Mann’s life before falling to police gunfire. Footage shows Mann clearly running down the sidewalk. At some point, he turns to face two officers in the street, who begin shooting immediately. The officers appeared to be about six or seven paces from Mann when his body falls.
January 27: Ms. Schubert’s office rules that Mann was “lawfully shot.” In a written statement issued following the decision, the office says the officers and “several civilians” were “threatened” by Mann. “Joseph Mann was acting aggressively while under the influence of methamphetamine,” the statement reads. “Sacramento police officers attempted to detain Mann after multiple civilian witnesses reported that Mann displayed a knife in a threatening manner and appeared to them to also be carrying a firearm.” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg issues a statement following the D.A.’s review, expressing “enormous respect” for SPD’s officers, but that “what unfolded with Joseph Mann is … unacceptable.”
March 18: Stephon Clark, 22, is shot and killed by SPD officers in the backyard of his grandmother’s Sacramento home. Clark was unarmed; officers said they mistook his cell phone for a handgun.
June 3: Ms. Schubert is reelected, beating challenger Noah Phillips by nearly 70,000 votes. Two weeks later, she announces she is no longer a member of the Republican party.
March 2: Nearly one year after the killing of Stephon Clark, Ms. Schubert announces that her office will not file charges against Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, the police officers who killed him. Ms. Schubert — in a lengthy press conference describing why she chose not to charge the officers — said that Clark researched ways to commit suicide and implied that he sought his own “death by police officers.” Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney for Clark’s family, criticized Ms. Schubert’s release of text messages between Clark and his fiancé as a “miscarriage of justice,” calling them irrelevant to the shooting. “She took out the old playbook when they kill us and took it to a whole new level,” Crump told The OBSERVER. “First they assassinate the person, and secondly, they assassinate our character.”
March 28: Tanya Faison, Sandra Boykin, and two other Black women from Black Lives Matter Sacramento disrupt a luncheon hosted by the Women Lawyers of Sacramento at Lucca Restaurant in Midtown. Ms. Schubert was the keynote speaker and also was being recognized for her work in tracking down and arresting former police officer Joseph DeAngelo, better known as the East Area Rapist and the Golden State Killer, in April 2018. Before Ms. Schubert spoke, the ladies, who had purchased tickets to the event, stood up in front of her holding a banner protesting officer-involved shootings in Sacramento County. The women were asked to leave by the owner of the restaurant. Ms. Faison and Ms. Boykin did not, and subsequently were arrested, cited and released. Days later, Ms. Schubert dropped the charges.
August: The Clark-Thompson family holds a press conference in front of the District Attorney’s office after the president of the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) asked the NFL to remove a Public Service Announcement featuring Clark. The CDAA consists of 3,300 prosecutor members in California that provide legal education and legislative advocacy. The organization stated that the Stephon Clark segment of the PSA does not cover all the facts of the case. “Though well-intentioned, the video performs a disservice instead of a public service by omitting the crucial facts which preceded Mr. Clark’s tragic death,” California District Attorneys Association president Vern Pierson said in a statement. The family asks for the recall of Ms. Schubert.
“I need you to be aware that every time they do something like this it brings Stephon Clark back to life and then it kills him all over again,” Clark’s mother, Sequette, said of the actions by the CDAA. “Stop it. Stop.”
Aug. 21: DeAngelo is sentenced to life in prison, having plead guilty to 13 counts of murder, 13 rape-related charges, and kidnapping. He is spared the death penalty. Multiple jurisdictions, including the Sacramento field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were involved in apprehending DeAngelo. But prosecutors credit Ms. Schubert for the use of an innovative DNA technique that pointed to DeAngelo as the culprit.
April 26: Ms. Schubert announces she will run for California Attorney General in 2022 against Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom after former A.G. Xavier Becerra was appointed as Vice President Kamala Harris’ replacement in the U.S. Senate.