On the Campaign Zero Police Report website, California police departments are assigned a letter grade based on a variety of factors such as the misdemeanor arrest count, the number of occasions in which lethal force was used without non-lethal force attempts, the number of times in which a gun was reported as perceived by an officer that was never found, and other related metrics gathered between 2016 and 2018. The Sacramento Police Department received an ‘F’ grade of 47% averaged across the evaluated statistics.
The Sacramento Police Department was graded 38% on violence and was found to have a misdemeanor rate 3.3 times higher than the violent crime arrest rate, a rate of 88% of shootings that occurred without the attempt of non-lethal force, and a rate of 50% of guns reported to have been perceived by police that were never found. Police Accountability received a grade of 44%, based on the low rates of rulings in favor of civilians, with 8% of over 800 civilian complaints against police and 9% of 44 civilian complaints of use of police force ruled in civilian favor. Of 12 complaints of police discrimination, 0% were ruled in favor of civilians.
In 2017, California passed the ‘Sanctuary State’ law that limits the cooperation of the State of California with federal immigration enforcement procedure. Despite this, Campaign Zero found that the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department transferred nearly 100 people to ICE in 2018.
Additionally, the website highlights policies adopted by the department that make it more difficult to hold police accountable, including a policy that allows officers to erase their letters of reprimand following misconduct after a two year period and a disqualification of police misconduct complaints if the department investigation takes longer than a year, among several others.
Campaign Zero also notes, however, policies followed by the Sacramento Police Department that seek to limit use of police force, including requirements of officers to give a verbal warning before shots are fired, to intervene when they witness other officers using excessive force, and to use de-escalation techniques whenever possible.
In an additional effort to reduce unnecessary police violence, the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a report to provide recommendations on policy and training surrounding police use of force, following the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento in 2018. “Every single one of the recommendations in here, all 66 that would refer to the use-of-force policy,” comments Sacramento Police Captain Dennis Joy, “have definitely been taken up and considered for implementation into this policy in one form or another.”