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As Sacramento police chief focuses on outsiders, records show most arrests were locals

After Sacramento's police chief blamed the worst offenses on outsiders, arrest data from the first five days show arrests were almost all locals.
Credit: AP
Protesters march through downtown Sacramento, Calif. in memory of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020. Sacramento City officials placed a curfew starting 8 p.m. Monday night until 5 p.m. Tuesday in hope of preventing late-night violence that has seen nearly two-thirds of the properties in Sacramento's downtown business district damaged over the weekend. The protests are over the deatgh of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)


Sacramento police arrested 121 people during the first five nights of protests over police brutality that began in earnest on Friday following the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

Last weekend, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn blamed some of the worst behavior on people who are not from the city, but the data show that almost everyone arrested by the department so far is local.

In the run-up to the city's 8:00pm curfew, Hahn set his focus on outsiders.

"There's a lot of people that are not from here," Hahn said in an interview Sunday. "They just don't care for our city. Don't care for the people that live here."

RELATED: Dozens arrested on Sacramento's first night of curfew, prompting city to extend order through Tuesday night

Trying to track that claim, ABC10 requested and received arrest logs from Sacramento.

Here are four of the key findings we made by compiling the arrest data.


The data show Sacramento police didn't arrest many outsiders. In fact, 77% of the arrests were people from Sacramento County. If you include some of the surrounding communities such as West Sacramento, Roseville and Rocklin, then the number only increases.

In total, 96% of the arrests were people from Northern California. The only arrests not from Northern California were one man from St. Louis, one from Anaheim, and three people listed with place unknown


Once Sacramento police got the legal tool of a curfew to clear streets, we found they used it heavily.

In the first two nights of curfew, 93% of arrests were for curfew violations, not for violence or stealing.

RELATED: Sacramento County declares state of emergency amid 'civil unrest'

Sacramento police only made one arrest for stealing those two nights, which was listed as robbery.

Likewise, they only made one arrest for vandalism those two nights.

That's a huge change from the weekend, when nearly 60% of arrests were for looting. Other charges included failure to disperse and resisting arrest.

"The Sacramento Police Department facilitates the expression of people's first amendment rights, while making safety a priority for everybody," department spokesperson Ofc. Karl Chan wrote in an email. "These arrests made were after the main protest had already disbanded."


Looting arrests dropped after a crush of them on Saturday and Sunday, when Sacramento police reported 32 arrests for looting and burglary.

Police said that they did not get every looter.

"Our detectives are following up with looting cases by viewing surveillance footage and video footage obtained thus far," Chan said. "If the community has video that might have evidentiary value please contact the police department."

Our video Saturday appears to show police clearing looters from a shoe store without making arrests. The chief said that in times of unrest, police can't respond to stealing the way they normally would.

RELATED: Sacramento mayor, police chief stand with local activist, spiritual leaders at peaceful protest in Oak Park

"We don't want an officer to be killed, because we sent one or two officers into a situation that required 30," Hahn said.

The chief also said multiple people organized to attack officers, but as of Wednesday the logs only show one arrest for that.

Meanwhile, the arrests are mainly locals for nonviolent offenses.


Lastly, we found that on Tuesday, the nightly number of arrests went down in Sacramento for the first time since protests began.

Sacramento had only one arrest Friday, with a sharp rise in arrests each day through Monday, when arrests peaked at 50. (48 of those were for violating curfew)

The number was cut in half Tuesday night, when only 24 arrests were made.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Brandon Rittiman.


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