Breaking News
More () »

Sacramento City Council chambers cleared after 'small disruption' during meeting

City Councilmember Karina Talamantes said the meeting came "to a halt due to the hatred of a few anti-Semitic and racist individuals."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — All public comment is being taken online after a disturbance at a Sacramento City Council meeting.

A video for the meeting showed a line of police officers in front of the City Council. In the video, Vice Mayor Eric Guerra said members of the public had been disruptive to the meeting and announced a recess to clear the chambers.

Guerra announced that the sergeant at arms was allowed to clear the chambers and that public comment would be taken online.

The Sacramento Police Department said described the incident as a "small disruption" at the meeting. They didn't have any more information.

Councilmember Karina Talamantes said the meeting came to a halt due what she said were racist and anti-Semitic people.

"Tonight, our council meeting came to a halt due to the hatred of a few anti-Semitic and racist individuals. Our city and our council is no place for hate of any kind," said Talamantes.

City Councilmember Lisa Kaplan said the recess for the meeting was appropriate because she didn't feel safe. 

"I am Jewish & have been offended & disturbed each time the anti-Semitic has spoken publicly- specifically turning my back when he speaks. Tonight he brought more proud boys- I did not feel safe w them in the audience...," Kaplan said on Twitter.

City spokesperson Tim Swanson described the incident as a disruption among members of the public in the council chambers.

 "The City worked to resolve the disruption, and the Council Chambers were eventually cleared," said Swanson.

Keyan Bliss, vice chair of the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission, said one person has been going to recent meetings and saying white supremacist and anti-Semitic rhetoric due public comment period. Bliss said the person had also invited "his friends" this time.

“Those white supremacists were deliberately provoking people and shouting really hateful things and not listening to anybody. That was the point. Those white supremacists were there to use city council as a platform to spew racist rhetoric, anti-Semitic rhetoric," said Bliss.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a statement on the disturbance which can be viewed below.

“Democracy is messy and imperfect. As city leaders we have the responsibility to make sure there are safe and viable ways for everyone to participate in public governance and have their voice heard at the city council.

Dissenting and passionate voices have a vital role in pushing elected officials to respond faster and better to real human suffering. 

While bigots and racists have a first amendment right to spew their hate, they have no right to incite violence.

No one, no matter their point of view, has the right to disrupt the public’s business or make it impossible for others to participate. 

If this kind of disruption continues, we will do everything necessary to ensure safety within the chambers. The public will always get the chance to be heard, even if temporarily by Zoom or telephone.

This is the imperfect balance we must strike to assure there is a viable and safe way for everyone to participate in our council.”


Measure O Update: What the city has done to be able to meet the mandate | To The Point

Before You Leave, Check This Out