City Councilmembers criticized during council meeting for silence on controversial Elk Grove Police stop

On Wednesday night, the Elk Grove City Council was criticized for what was characterized as silence on a controversial recent traffic stop that has generated national attention. The critiques were made during the public comment segment of their regular September 23 meeting.

The comments came in the aftermath of a stop on September 13 for a traffic violation by an Elk Grove Police officer on the north side Elk Grove. The motorist was a 19-year-old Black man and the 30-plus minute enounter with the officer was video recorded by the motorist's family.

In the aftermath, that video has been viewed millions of times and has drawn the attention of noted civil rights attorney Ben Crump. The officer, who wore a Blue Lives Matter mask in violation of department policy, reportedly asked the motorist if he was on probation or parole during the initial contact and has been extensively criticized.

Coincidentally, another motorist was cited earlier that day for the same traffic violation in the same neighborhood by the same officer. According to that motorist, the officer issuing the citation did not ask him if he was on probation or parole.

The first speaker on the controversial traffic stop was Elk Grove resident Connie Conley who noted when she and other members of the community advocated for the city to form its police department in 2006, it was done so there could be community policing.  She noted that early in his tenure as a city councilmember, Pat Hume advocated for community policing.

In light of the two traffic stops, which were reportedly handled differently, Conley said more work is needed.

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"More needs to be done with it comes to racial and ethnic relations throughout the entire city government, starting with the Elk Grove City Council," Conley said. "The buck does stop with you."

Conley added, "Have any of you Elk Grove City Councilmembers been on parole or probation. Where any of you ever pulled over for a traffic violation such as speeding or rolling a stop sign and asked that same question?" 

Conley ended her comments by asking the councilmembers why they have been silent on the matter.

Another speaker who criticized the handling of the traffic stop by the police officer was Kimberly Stewart-Vital, who said she has repeatedly asked the city council what is being done to address race relations in the community.

Citing the traffic stop where the officer had her hand positioned on her weapon, Stewart-Vital said, "this culture of feat that the police department is putting out there instead of healing our race relations and fear in general of the police department, it needs to be fixed."

Stewart-Vital added that officers need additional training and asked what the councilmembers plan to do about the situation. 

"I would like to know each and every one of your plans moving forward, how you are going to help heal this rift in Elk Grove," she said.   

Since the police department released videos of the incident, beyond saying the matter is under investigation, there have been no further updates. During their comments, the councilmembers did not address Conley's or Steward-Vital's remarks.  

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Randy Bekker said...

Chief Albright turned this issue to be looked at by an independent investigation. The stop that was video recorded is only from the person stopped it may not show all of the stop as there is no in-car an officer body cameras that has been released. For anyone to think the Council members or Mayor should make a public comment is reckless an unprofessional. We hired the Chief an we need to show respect to him an all EGPD officers an employees to allow any investigation to take place without any political outside comments.

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie said...

Randy, I don't typically address your comments, but you missed the point entirely. Ethnic and race relations in our community does not lie solely with the Elk Grove Police Department.

Why have elected leaders if they are supposed to be silent on serious issues that affect our city and its citizens?

My main statement was the following and that includes all of us, no ifs, ands or, buts – that is unless you give the Elk Grove City Council members a pass on governance and accountability.

“With what occurred with Officer Johnson tells me we must continue to examine the nature of race relations in our community and the measures that can be utilized to both protect the rights of citizens and promote an environment of tolerance, understanding, and harmonious racial and ethnic relations.”

White Hat said...

Connie, were you aware that same exact mother went on a tirade in an Elk Grove dentist office? Were you aware that same exact mother was showing her own racism and she video recorded the tirade along with her racist comments towards the people working in that office? The video was very telling. My very white son has had the displeasure of being pulled over on more than a few occasions, and he too was asked if he was on parole or probation.

Bandee said...

The young man ran a stop sign. That is the same as running a red light. The mother was keeping the officer from doing her job. The mother should have been arrested for interfering with the officer.

Spoons and Forks said...

Re: Bandee

There was no denial the motorist rolled through the stop sign. Why was there a difference in how Officer Johnson handled each stop as recorded on video? Please explain so us of less intellect can understand.

Re: White Hat[e];

Is there any proof, video or otherwise, that you can support your allegations? Please present it on Elk Grove Laguna Forums if such evidence exist. We are sure Mr. Souza would relish posting such a video. I suspect you an[d] Randy Bek[k]er are getting your marching orders from Steve Detrick and Pat Hume. Good luck with those two racist creeps.

As a WOC, I can assure you, the incident documented by video, has happened to my children and many others in Elk Grove and beyond. It is time for the city council to hold the EGPD to account and get things right.

Randy Bekker said...

Spoons an Forks you should know better to think I get marching orders from anyone. The video White Hat speaks of did happen the author took it down but I can tell you her performance at the dentist office was the same except instead of belittling an officer she belittled Dentist office workers yelling at them. Once this incident is investigated an the findings are released I have faith that Chief Albright will make whatever changes that need to be made. Until then the Council/Mayor should not make any political statements. I also think Chief Albright needs to use the CAB to get their input. I think you an others need to start working with your neighbors to get them to know our police department instead of yelling at them. They also need to know their Council an Mayor.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

No worries at all. City Attorney Hobbs has his checkbook out, and Ben Crump is threatening to fly Al Sharpton in if the check isn't big enough. The City's liability insurance premium just took another hit, but hey,it's only money! The People's money. Move along, nothing to see here...

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