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Sacramento mayor, city officials request independent investigation over arrests of 84 protesters

“I want to guarantee the right of peaceful protest and freedom of the press while simultaneously protecting public safety."

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city officials have requested an independent investigation into Monday's demonstration, which resulted in the arrest of 84 protesters. 

“I want to guarantee the right of peaceful protest and freedom of the press while simultaneously protecting public safety,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg's office said the investigation will be led by Francine Tournour, the Director of the Office of the Public Safety Accountability (OPSA). She'll report her findings to the mayor and the city council, not the city manager or the Sacramento Police Department.

RELATED: 'We were trapped': 84 arrested, including journalists and clergy, after Stephon Clark protest in Sacramento

Here are some of the questions that the mayor's office aims to have answered through the investigation:

  • What precipitated the order to disperse and how was it communicated?
  • What were the circumstances of the arrests?
  • Were people arrested who wanted to leave but were not permitted to leave because of the police perimeter on the bridge?
  • What is the distinction between press and the public during protests?
  • Who was in command of all the agencies working together?
  • Why were people told to go in one direction down 51st street to disperse and then blocked and arrested when they followed orders to move in that direction?
  • What process is in place to revoke or dismiss citations for journalists that were processed?

The policed department is also conducting an investigation into the incident, Steinberg's office said.