Pledging not to ease up on authorities, protesters are planning another day of rallies in Sacramento for Sunday.
Scores of protesters demonstated in California’s capital for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday to demand justice in the aftermath of the police killing of Stephon Clark. The 22-year-old Black man was unarmed when two officers gunned him down in a hail of at least 20 shots in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18. The officers, who were responding to reports of someone breaking car windows, claimed that they believed he had a gun, which turned out to be a cellphone.
The rallies came one day after a forensic pathologist retained by Clark’s family said the police shot him six times in the back, casting serious doubt on the police version of the incident.
Black Lives Matter’s Sacramento branch vowed early Sunday morning to “keep the pressure on.”
On Saturday night, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle struck a pedestrian during a vigil for Clark, Capital Public Radio reported. Demonstrators had approached two sheriff’s vehicles in a McDonald’s parking lot. One of the vehicles hit the person as the driver attempted to flee the protesters, a witness told the news outlet.
Earlier in the day, former Sacramento Kings basketball player Matt Barnes led a protest rally, which assembled across from Sacramento’s City Hall. “We came here today to raise awareness,” he told the crowd. “Let’s not allow them to sweep this s— under the rug like they do with the rest of the things.” Barnes also announced that he’s starting a scholarship fund for Clark’s two young sons.
Another highlight from Saturday included Jamilia Land, a family friend of the Clarks, delivering a passionate speech to about 150 protesters. Living in Sacramento’s Black community is like living in a “war zone,” she said, underscoring the lack of community resources. She also spoke poignantly about the family’s pain.