“Where is that balance between safety and intent?”
Sacramento Councilmember Jeff Harris
2/5/2019 Law & Legislative Committee
Review of Proposed Protest Ordinance
The Sacramento PD murdered Stephon Clark. Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal saw a Black man in a Meadowview backyard and that is all they needed to discern. In those split seconds between his beating heart and their metal clips, they knew they were safe in taking his life with zero cause. There would be no charges. No loss of job. Nothing. Without Black Lives Matter Sacramento there wouldn’t even be public scrutiny. It would simply be business as usual—because safety to them is a Black man rendered powerless.
Becky in East Sac would most assuredly still be alive.
If safety to Sac PD means pulling an anti-Black trigger and stealing lives with no need or accountability, then what is their intent?
This same terroristic organization is proposing an “emergency safety” ordinance to limit free speech in the wake of the upcoming DA announcement. An announcement that we all know will absolve them of any wrongdoing—even though Stephon was simply holding a cellphone in his grandmother’s backyard. An ordinance that the Sacramento City Council will continue to review and possibly pass. An ordinance that will prevent Black leaders from protecting themselves from violent Nazis by carrying pepper spray. An ordinance that will prevent women from protecting themselves from potential sexual predators. An ordinance that will make our Sikh siblings choose between their freedom of religion to carry the kirpan and their freedom of speech. An ordinance that will make it easier to arrest protestors and criminalize dissent with little cause—even walking canes and water bottles will be banned.
If safety to Sac PD means Black community members without voice and due process, then what is their intent?
The Mayor and City Council members, including Jeff Harris, are more interested in appeasing their police, keeping order no matter the cost to justice, and upholding white supremacy that keeps them in power—than listening to or protecting the public that they were elected to serve. This ordinance isn’t dead, just on hold. Our temporary win last Tuesday will need to be ensured by community pressure and outrage.
And how could we be anything other than outraged? A young father was needlessly taken from his two babies. No ordinance will mitigate that violence or shield their blame.
Our intention is to FIGHT! Both this ordinance and the larger system that fears Black safety. The people won’t be quelled, dissuaded, or silenced. We will unite for Stephon and all victims of state terror. We will do so because it is honorable and just. Should they choose to weaponize legality and outlaw dissent—then our voices will just have to rise above their disgrace.
Sat * 3/16 * 5pm
Thurs * 3/21 * 8:30am
Wed * 7/17 * All Month