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Mystery Police Stopping Sacramento Residents on their Way to Work During Coronavirus Lockdown

Why did cops only want a business card to prove the driver was on her way to work to an ‘essential’ job?

By Katy Grimes, March 27, 2020 7:51 am

With Sacramento under stay at home lockdown on orders from Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Governor Gavin Newsom, there still are people who need to go to work in jobs and industries deemed “essential,” according to the governor and the State Public Health Officer, as California Globe reported.

This week I was informed by two different Sacramento residents who were driving to work that they were pulled over in two separate incidents. Both claimed it was by Sacramento Police Department officers asking where they were going, except one of the drivers was pulled over in Sacramento County, jurisdiction of the Sacramento County Sheriff. Sometimes Sheriff’s deputies are mistaken for Sacramento Police Department.

Both people said they were driving to work in industries deemed “essential.”

Show me your papers

The first driver, a woman, said she tried to offer her California Drivers License to the police officer, but said the the gloved officer didn’t want to touch it or look at it, and only asked to see a business card to prove she was on her way to work to an “essential” job.

The second driver, a man, reported that he was pulled over twice this week, and said he was asked the same thing – that the police officer didn’t want his drivers license, but only wanted a business card to prove he was on his way to work.

I sent this information to the Chief of Police at the Sacramento Police Department, and to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. I asked:

  • Can you confirm if this is the directive provided to officers?
  • Who issued the directive?
  • If this is the directive, did it come from you as Chief, or the Mayor and City Council?
If this was a directive from the Mayor and City Council I’d like to know why.

and to the Sheriff’s Department I sent a similar email and asked:

  • Can you confirm if this is the directive provided to deputies?
  • Who issued the directive?
  • If this is the directive, why? and Did it come from Sheriff Scott Jones or the County Supervisors?
  • Was this one of your deputies?
If this was a directive from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, I would like to know why.
SacPD Chief Daniel Hahn replied:

Hello Katy,

No SacPD Officer should be making a traffic stop solely for the purpose of checking where someone is going or to see if they are an essential worker.  That doesn’t mean traffic stops won’t happen for regular violations (ie stop sign, red light, speeding).  SacPD officers are not the only ones that are peace officers present in Sacramento so I would be very interested in having someone speak to these individuals who gave you this information.  I would like to research these incidents to confirm who was doing this activity.  Our officers directive at this time specifically prohibits stopping someone for the sole purpose of seeing where they are going.  If you have information about the time/location or badge number/name of the officers I would be interested in looking into these claims.

Daniel Hahn, Chief

Sacramento Police Department

 

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department replied:

Hello,

This is not a directive to any of our deputies, from anyone. The goal of the Sheriff’s Office is be educational at this time. We will not be asking anyone for proof of any kind, nor will any vehicle stops be predicated on finding out where someone is going.

If you have information related to a deputy’s name or badge number please send it to us so we may look into this further.

Thank you,

-Community Relations Bureau-

 

I replied back thanking both departments for their responses, and said if I find out a name/badge number, I will forward to them. Neither driver acquired a name or badge number of the officers.

California Globe will follow up on this.
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5 thoughts on “Mystery Police Stopping Sacramento Residents on their Way to Work During Coronavirus Lockdown

  1. Those responses from Sac PD and the Sheriff Dept. really cleared up questions many of us had. However, I feel for the persons who were stopped. Just being pulled over takes travel time away from you trying to get to work. I hope this will never happen again, since it’s been published. I also hope the Dept’s find out who’s responsible for pulling those folks over because they are the officers who feel they are above the law and they can make up rules and regs as they go. They need a little wake up call! Some companies must stay open because there’s no way they can transact “all” their business online, at home, or do the type of work they do, from home. Again, thanks to the Sac PD and Sheriff Dept for taking those people’s complaints serious and acting on it.
    A citizen for those in the “right”

  2. Interesting. No description of vehicle (marked or unmarked), no name or badge number. No color of uniform if any.

    Hope someone is not impersonating.

  3. Maybe they shouldn’t be pulling people over, it just gives more of a chance to spread the virus. I have a friend working he’s a painter they consider themselves essential. Not him, but his boss who will lose money if they don’t work. He gets no benefits other than three sick days a year. He has to work or will not get any type of compensation. I want to know why companies are allowed to keep people at work with someone coughing by giving the sick person a mask. I get it essential workers are needed, but now they have to be around someone coughing?

    I ask the question, is the only priority to protect jobs? Shouldn’t we care more about the safety of people too.

  4. Sounds like someone out there may be impersonating police officers – or, people you are hearing from are giving you false information – or maybe you are fabricating the stories yourself.

  5. My “Reply” is really a question. I know from experience, having lived in California in years gone by, that the cops will routinely pull people over just to mess with them. this happens all the time. Cops are feeling bored or mean and just want to cause upset. This during the best of times.
    Now I want to fly in to L.A. from SE Asia this week if possible. i want to buy a used car in L.A. and drive on to Utah. Don’t ask me why don’t I just fly all the way to Utah: none of your business: costs to fly, scheduling problems, layovers of 12 hours and more at strange airports, thugs in uniform not knowing the difference between China and Vietnam, being harassed by mean, treated like a criminal, held up by jerks at desks so that my baggage can go on without me and I can miss my connecting plane…. I want to get out of that scene and put my feet on the grown and I want to drive my own ride and have a sense of control over my life, O.K.? 30 to 45 hours of travelling without sleep vs up t o 60 hours of airplane travel.
    My question is can I drive from LA to Salt Lake ? Will the cops tell me to get off the roads and stay “home”. This is not possible since I do not have a home. I have a Utah DL and I have a right to drive.
    But have all rights been suspended now – and so are police able to get away with any nonsense they feel like imposing on free American citizens? – to the extent that they can prevent us from driving across their state?

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