April 10, 2018 06:24 PM
Updated 8 hours 17 minutes ago
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told the City Council on Tuesday that "our community is crying out for change" following the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Meadowview last month at the hands of two of his officers.
The meeting began with Stephon Clark’s brother helping to lead a packed City Council Chambers in prayer. There were tense moments – one protester was removed from the City Council Chambers by police – but the hearing was peaceful.
Hahn vowed that his department would make the policy changes necessary to ensure “tragic situations like what happened March 18 don’t happen again.”
Clark was shot March 18 by officers pursuing a man suspected of breaking car windows. Officers said they thought Clark had a gun when they fired 20 shots, but Clark was found with only his cellphone. He was killed in a backyard later determined to be his grandparents' house.
Hahn, who grew up in Oak Park and is the city’s first black police chief, spoke quietly with Clark’s brother, Stevante, before the meeting began. Clark placed his arm around Hahn’s shoulder, then invited him to join a small group of pastors at the front of the room for a prayer. As the pastors spoke, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the members of the City Council held hands and bowed their heads.
Nearly two hours into the hearing, Stevante Clark walked into the chambers and sat in a chair next to a podium where Hahn was addressing the City Council. He put his feet up on a desk, but then moved to a seat in the audience. Addressing the council a few minutes later, Clark urged the media to stop showing police video footage of his brother being shot and killed.
Two weeks ago, Stevante Clark leaped onto the council dais and onto the lectern. He told Steinberg several times to shut up as the mayor shouted his name to get his attention, and the meeting soo