City Beat

Sacramento councilman rescinds D.A. endorsement as Stephon Clark activists call for change

'We see judge, jury and executioner'

Sacramento community activist Barry Accius speaks at Tuesday's city council meeting as people address the council with their concerns about the Stephon Clark shooting.
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Sacramento community activist Barry Accius speaks at Tuesday's city council meeting as people address the council with their concerns about the Stephon Clark shooting.

In the weeks following the police shooting of Stephon Clark, several people testifying at Sacramento City Council meetings have urged council members to drop their support of District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

Protesters have argued that Schubert is beholden to law enforcement groups and can’t be trusted to fairly investigate police officers.

On Friday, the first council member rescinded his endorsement of Schubert.

In a letter, Councilman Allen Warren wrote he was taking back his endorsement “until I am completely comfortable that the justice system will be fairly applied.”

“I hope by doing so we will look deeper into the application of our criminal justice system in Sacramento and find ways to improve and bring about change to push our communities forward and create an atmosphere of improving realities that recognize and respect the beautiful diversity of all Sacramentans and encompasses justice for all,” Warren wrote.

All nine City Council members previously endorsed Schubert, who has generated support from local Republican and Democratic officials. As of Friday, the eight members other than Warren remained on Schubert's endorsement page.

Warren’s letter does not mention Clark, who was shot and killed by Sacramento police on March 18. Warren represents District 2, which includes North Sacramento and Del Paso Heights.

The councilman wrote he has “been carefully listening, observing and gathering facts on social injustices on the national forefront such as policing, criminalization of the poor, mass incarceration and the heavy handedness of our justice system on those who are least able to adequately defend themselves.”

Warren said in a text message that he has not endorsed Schubert’s opponent, Noah Phillips, a deputy district attorney who has attacked the incumbent for not prosecuting officers.

Phillips has generated big contributions from liberal donors outside Sacramento who are pushing to help left-leaning prosecutors win D.A. seats across the country. Law enforcement organizations have contributed to Schubert, who has a sudden sense of momentum this month after announcing the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo in the East Area Rapist case.

During a press conference last month, Schubert called the Clark shooting “a tragedy.” She said her office had not begun its investigation of the shooting and that it would likely be months before her inquiry is complete.

A campaign spokesman for Schubert could not immediately be reached for comment.

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