A public forum was held Wednesday night to help mend the already strained relationship between Sacramento’s Police Department and the Del Paso Heights community.
But anger and frustration that actions by Sacramento police officers could have contributed to the death of 32-year old Tyrone Smith while in their custody were what played out instead.
“We saw it and you guys can’t tell us any different,” shouted one member of the audience.
The forum was held at the Greater Sacramento Urban League. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, along with Police Chief Rick Braziel attended the forum with the hopes of having orderly and constructive dialogue with the community. Instead, they got something entirely different.
Sacramento Police did offer up new details about what took place Saturday, starting with the Twin Rivers Police officer who was shot. According to the investigation, the Twin Rivers officer was shot at close range four times by Smith. The wounded officer and four others identified Smith as the shooter.
As cops were closing in on Smith later that evening, he was caught on video surveillance trying to elude officers by jumping cutting through neighbors backyards and stashing two handguns that were later recovered.
The community was the most upset by how Smith was put into a squad car, and less than 15 minutes later officers were performing CPR to try and save his life. Police said the on-board cameras of two vehicles show that once Smith was discovered to be no longer breathing, the car was stopped and medical attention was given to Smith.
Smith’s family also attended Wednesday night’s forum and issued a statement which read, in part: “We still have some concerns surrounding Tyrone’s death and what may have transpired at arrest time and the moments leading up to his death.”