The Sacramento Police Department announced a new policy on Monday that would give more of a choice on whether to pursue suspects by foot, following the death of Stephon Clark in March, The Sacramento Bee reports.
Officers will now have the option to consider theirs and the public’s safety when trying to apprehend people in situations deemed risky.
“[It’s] really a policy to give direction and guidance … around what our officers are supposed to do, what they’re supposed to think about, what they’re supposed to weigh anytime they get into a situation when they’re chasing after a suspect,” Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told The Bee.
In March, an unarmed Clark was shot and killed by two police officers after a pursuit that led him to the backyard of his grandparents’ home.
Police said at the time that Clark walked toward them with his “arms extended, and holding an object in his hand,” which turned out to be a cellphone.
Despite the new policy the department is sticking behind officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, both were involved in the shooting.
An internal investigation into Clark’s death is still ongoing, per the Bee.
“I think this is a bold move and a necessary move,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “[Chief Hahn] and the city promised real, tangible change in the wake of the Stephon Clark shooting, and while this is not the end of the necessary changes, it’s a crucial step forward.”
The policy went into effect on July 26, per reports.