Protest over Stephon Clark shooting ends with 80 arrests

Ruben Hill
March 6, 2019

Police arrested 84 people following a protest over the Sacramento District Attorney's decision not to charge the two officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark last March.

"It is important to note that the scope of this investigation was confined exclusively to an examination of whether the facts of this case were sufficient to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, the commission of a criminal offense", Becerra said.

"The death of Stephon Alonzo Clark weighs heavily on our community and on our hearts - and it is why we must continue our work with law enforcement agencies in the state to build on best practices and strengthen trust between peace officers and the communities they are sworn to protect", Becerra said.

Becerra was vague about what reforms he would support but said change was needed.

The attorney general and district attorney said the evidence showed Clark was advancing toward the officers holding what they thought was a gun when they shot him. An independent autopsy found he was shot eight times. "A damn shame. Public dollars wasted silencing protesters than actually protecting the Black bodies they are protesting for".

At a press conference, Becerra announced the results of the state Justice Department's investigation into the shooting.

Before announcing the decision, he met with Clark's mother, SeQuette Clark, who was expected to speak to reporters later in the day.

At her news conference on Saturday, Schubert said investigators had also determined that Clark was under the influence of the tranquillizer Xanax, alcohol and marijuana.

Reverend Shane Harris, who represents Clark's fiancee and was arrested on Monday, told The Sacramento Bee that police "cornered everybody purposely". "They executed my son", she said.

An estimated 100 people gathered in Sacramento around 7pm local time Monday to protest the DA's decision and call for the two officers to be fired, marching through the city with placards bearing photos of Clark. The Bee says police handcuffed and led away more than 20 demonstrators, including at least three clergy members, and a Bee reporter covering the demonstration.

The release of the video in the immediate aftermath of the incident sparked two weeks of demonstrations in Sacramento last year and added fuel to the national debate over racial bias in the criminal justice system stemming from a string of police killings of unarmed black men in recent years. "That is the healing that's needed".

Meanwhile, advocates are working to change the laws Becerra and Schubert referenced in the evaluation of the departments' actions.

According to the newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, Mayor Darrell Steinberg's office said it was planning to discuss the matter during Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Becerra said he, too, wanted to work toward preventing deaths like Clark's from happening in the future.

"I hope we can enlist them to be some of the warriors to help us move in the right direction".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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