SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Weekend clashes between opposing protesters close to the state Capitol are pulling a whole lot of officers away from different crime-fighting, terrorizing downtown and inflicting a “ripple effect” of harm in a metropolis already scuffling with the pandemic and a rash of homicides, the police chief stated Monday.
“This is not protesting. These acts are not demonstrating their constitutionally protected rights. This is unwarranted, unjustified criminal behavior,” Police Chief Daniel Hahn stated in a video.
The chief’s video adopted one other face-off Saturday afternoon throughout which bottles and fireworks had been tossed by counter-demonstrators at a gaggle waving American flags and banners supporting Donald Trump.
Such confrontations have been occurring each weekend for the reason that Nov. three election. The Sacramento Bee reported that the pro-Trump contingent has included members of the Proud Boys — a right-wing group that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart — and the counter-demonstrators had been a part of the native antifa motion, an umbrella time period for leftist militants.
The chief’s video included police physique digital camera footage that confirmed a few of the black-clad demonstrators holding home made shields and pushing towards a metallic barricade separating the 2 teams.
Police have stated they used non-lethal weapons comparable to pepper balls to guard the barricade.
Police stated at the very least 10 automobiles had been vandalized by marchers.
Greater than 150 officers had been deployed, and three acquired minor accidents from thrown objects or lasers being flashed of their eyes, police stated.
Hahn stated a whole lot of officers, together with “murder detectives, gang detectives, group outreach officers and police dispatchers,” have been pulled away from their primary assignments to observe the protests.
A police assertion stated there have been at the very least 40 homicides within the metropolis this 12 months, a 30% enhance over the identical interval final 12 months, and aggravated assaults are up practically 20%.
“Detectives who would usually follow-up on these instances have been tasked with protest duties each week,” the assertion stated.
Hahn condemned the violent confrontations, saying they “terrorize the downtown community” and should finish.
“They create a ripple effect of negative impacts on our community that is already suffering too much,” he stated.