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Sacramento PD: Officers Have Increased Enforcement Of Jaywalking Laws
The Sacramento Police Department says it is true that it has targeted certain areas of Sacramento for enforcement of jaywalking and other traffic laws.
The department released information Monday in response to questions about possible racial profiling after a black man was stopped for jaywalking last week and was then pummeled by an officer.
The department says it issued 316 jaywalking citations in 2016.
About two-thirds, 68 percent, were issued in the Arden Way, El Camino Boulevard, and Del Paso Boulevard areas.
The department says businesses in the Del Paso Business Improvement District asked for an increase in traffic enforcement last year.
Citywide, there have been 67 fatalities in the city involving vehicles since 2015. Forty-eight of them involved pedestrians or bicyclists.
The city applied for and received a $622,627 California Office of Traffic Safety grant for projects citywide.
About half of the citations, 48 percent, were issued to black people last year. A slightly smaller number, 46.5 percent, were issued to people who are classified as white.
But, that's misleading.
The department says its tracking system combines Hispanics, East Indians and Caucasians and classifies all of them as "white."
Blacks, Asians, American Indians, and Unknown each have their own categories.
Sacramento PD says Councilman Allen Warren, who is black, and his office provided input, which,"... included directed enforcement of the laws and ordinances surrounding pedestrian safety," according to a statement issued by the department.
There were no marked crosswalks at the intersection of Cypress and Grand where Nandi Cain was spotted by an officer last week. Cain crossed one lane as a car approached, waited for it, and then continued as another car passed behind him going in the opposite direction.
The officer was recorded by a passerby and by his own dashboard camera repeatedly telling Cain to stop and then to "stop and get on the ground." When Cain did not, and before the officer's backup could arrive, the officer tackled him, and then repeatedly punched him.
The officer is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Jaywalking is defined by Sacramento City Code 10.20.020 as crossing a street within 300 feet of a crosswalk.
But, California law 21950 (a) says an intersection is a suitable place to cross even if it has no marked crosswalks.
According to Google Maps, the nearest intersection with a crosswalk was 318 feet away.
Charges of impeding a police officer against Cain were dropped. He has never been charged with jaywalking.
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