Clear communication between law enforcements and the community is what many cities aim at accomplishing. That’s why on August 31st, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn and Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen attended a community forum with other community activists. The meeting was called “Law and Order: In the Trump Era” and its purpose was to have a discussion about how President Trump has affected the criminal justice system. The meeting also sought to address the tensions between the police and the members of the community.

People Attentively Listening To The Speakers

“The only people who have the power to use the law to hurt you…is really the people using the police power…and that is a very sacred duty that should not be abused,” said Councilmember Steve Hansen.  “In the end, we cannot let them be the front line of solving social issues because that is never going to be an answer…and I think it’s unfair for those folk [the police] to put that on them.”

Some of the speaking points during the meeting included homelessness, racism in the police department, and the responsibility of elected officials. Steve Hansen dove into the subject of community distrust of the police and how that has affected the criminal justice system. The Councilmember argued that the police cannot be the one handling everything and the community distrust of the department is only making their job harder.

“When you think about this Sacramento, this California you say, this diverse place they like to say, a place of multiculturalism. Black folk have nothing here,” said Berry Accius, CEO Voice of the Youth.

Statements like that and others caused the meeting to take a turn, getting more intense with its discussion about race and criminal justice. However, the meeting ended on a lighter note with all the speakers standing together in unison agreeing to work together to make Sacramento a better place.