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Q&A: Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg on downtown safety

In an interview Wednesday, Sacramento’s mayor clarified a comment he made and answered questions about downtown’s safety following Sunday’s shooting.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There are still more questions than answers at this point in the investigation of Sunday's deadly shooting in downtown Sacramento.

They include concerns about safety in the K Street corridor and how the city is working to prevent something like this from happening again.

ABC10 spoke with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg Wednesday to answer some outstanding questions.

First, he clarified a comment which has raised some eyebrows. He made it during a news conference Sunday afternoon, as he encouraged people to continue visiting the downtown area despite the early morning shooting-- which happened as bars were closing.

"Come down, you know, for a game. Come down for a concert. Come down to eat. Don't stay out till two in the morning, but come on down,” he said Sunday.

As one person responded on Twitter, in part, "This statement gave me BIG victim blaming vibes, which is astounding, considering 6 of the shooting victims are DEAD."

Asked about his comment, Steinberg said, “I think I was speaking as maybe a guy from an older generation. I think the city is safe, and I support the city staying open until 2 in the morning, so I can clarify those comments. I guess I was just speaking from, you know, my own experience that I like going out and having a great time, but I just like going to bed early."

Q: Why didn’t the city cancel big events in downtown Sacramento on Sunday evening – like the Kings game – while the nearby crime scene was still taped off and before any suspects were arrested?

A: "Well, it wasn't my decision, first of all. I mean, I don't have the ability to make that kind of decree, but I support the Kings going ahead... I think it is important that we live our lives, that we take precautions, that we be aware, obviously, always of our surroundings, that the city continue its investment in more street lighting, in more security cameras, in more security - and at the same time, come downtown and enjoy all the good and great things that are happening here."

Q: What is the city doing to help businesses as potential visitors might have safety concerns?

A: “We just put $8.1 million dollars of city money through the American Rescue Plan into what we call "Clean and Safe Sacramento." The money is being used to enhance lighting, enhance security and provide more bodies - more security officials on the ground in downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento, so we're doing everything we can."

Steinberg also pointed out the Sacramento Police Department took about 1,600 guns off the streets last year. He said he is in favor of stricter gun control when it comes to high-capacity automatic weapons.


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