What started off on Thursday as a seemingly ordinary protest at Sacramento’s City Hall quickly proved it was a force to be reckoned with as Black Lives Matter organizers led thousands of people across of a major freeway and blocked rush hour traffic before going on to surround the local pro sports arena in a defiant display of disruption.
It’s no secret: They were expressing their anger toward the Sacramento Police Department and the officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man, in his own backyard on Sunday night. But to let Black Lives Matter Sacramento tell it, Thursday’s protest was just the tip of the activists’ iceberg.
“We just getting started,” the local social justice group’s Twitter account tweeted Friday morning, just hours after its actions outside the local NBA game being played forced security to lock the Golden 1 Center’s doors, preventing people from leaving or entering. The tweet tagged the Twitter handles of Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn as well as the Sacramento police and Sacramento County sheriff’s departments.
A later tweet doubled down on that sentiment, insisting that “We’re gonna keep fighting for
The strategic timing of that action was noteworthy because it happened just as the game began, which means not all ticket holders could attend, likely compromising how much money the arena made from concessions and other attractions designed to get patrons to spend cash. Is’s a safe bet the group has other economic-focused protests planned and more demonstrations in store.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento has been active since well before the apparent murder of Clark, who police said had a gun but was actually only holding a cellphone in his hand at the time of his shooting.
The probable truth of the matter is that the officers had the same implicit bias that only allow them to view Black people as violent, guilty villains who always merit lethal reactions. Another likely truth is that the officers won’t ever see any prison time. If that does happen, it won’t be from a lack of effort from Black Lives Matter Sacramento.
The group just this week announced it would be implementing its “Copwatch” program that encourages citizens to record police on video when they suspect there is wrongdoing. The initiative was spurred by the fact that the Sacramento Police department has a lengthy, troubling history of brutality against Black city residents.