VIDEO: Sacramento police push, taze and wield batons at Black Lives Matter protesters

New video footage provided by Black Lives Matter appears to challenge the Sacramento Police Department’s narrative for why they arrested two women Thursday night during a protest at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office.

In two clips, police officers chant “move back” and use the broad sides of their bicycles to push demonstrators out of a largely empty parking lot. When some protesters do not move, the officers shove forward with their bikes. Some wield their police batons, and at least one Taser appears to be activated.

The police originally reported to the Sacramento Bee that they arrested two women over an incident involving a motorist surrounded by protesters:

Sgt. Vance Chandler said a group of protesters gathered around a vehicle driven by a woman, trapping the vehicle, at about 5:30 p.m. Officers ordered the group to disperse and most of the group did so. The two who did not comply were taken into custody, Chandler said.

But Black Lives Matter Sacramento leader Tanya Faison said the incident involving a motorist happened before the police even arrived. The two clips–one uploaded to YouTube and another provided to VOICES: River City by Black Lives Matter–do not appear to include any motorists.

In a statement, Black Lives Matter challenged the Sacramento Police Department’s account to the Bee.

“The article referenced a person jumping on, and trapping people in their cars, as a reason to arrest. This is false,” they said. “It is this type of narrative that empowers the law enforcement to hurt the community without exposure.”

In a later email, Sac PD’s Chandler told V:RC that the police gave multiple verbal orders to move, including at least eight over a PA system.

“These females were arrested after these dispersal orders were given and they refused to disperse,” Chandler said.

Protesters have held regular demonstrations outside of Sacramento County D.A. Anne Marie Schubert’s office with the hope that she will indict the two cops who shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark last month in his grandmother’s back yard. Clark, a Black man, was unarmed.

An independent autopsy found that officers shot him eight times–six in the back.

This article has been updated with a comment from Sac PD.


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Dave Kempa
Editor at VOICES: River City
Dave Kempa is the founder and editor of VOICES: River City.