Stephon Clark‘s family delivered a powerful call for change in Sacramento ahead of the city’s district attorney primary seeking re-election on Tuesday.
Relatives of Clark continued to fight for justice nearly three months after the Black father-of-two, 22, was killed by police who mistook his cell phone for a gun in his grandmother’s backyard in March. Clark’s family members gathered with Sacramento’s Black civil rights leaders at the state Capitol Thursday for a “Get-Out-The-Vote” event focusing on pushing reform, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“Throughout the grief, tears and prayers, we are still seeking justice, but the answers for the death of Stephon Clark will not go unheard. With this great loss….we stand with the Clark family,” Betty Williams, Sacramento NAACP branch president, said. “Because we stand here, we want change. We’re asking that you understand the power of your vote.”
Conspicuously missing from the event was Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who has faced calls to criminally charge the officers involved in Clark’s shooting. But she has a troubling history of refusing to charge police specifically when it comes to shooting Black men.
The appeal from Clark’s family for change comes after Schubert has preached the weak defense that her office can’t act until investigative findings from the Sacramento police are released. Facing public criticism, Schubert has kept a low profile and even agreed to have a chain-link fence erected around the district attorney’s downtown Sacramento office to keep out protesters. However, she can’t hide from community members and those people nationwide who want justice.
“Let’s show Ms. Schubert that you can’t hide behind a fence, just like you can’t hide a killing in a backyard,” Jamilia Land, a friend of Clark’s family, said Thursday.
Schubert will face off against challenger and deputy prosecutor Noah Phillips on Tuesday. Support for the DA, who was elected in 2014, has waned in recent weeks. Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren has pulled support, while Councilmen Larry Carr and Rick Jennings also getting cold feet, CBS Sacramento reported.
The decision of whether to re-elect Schubert may come down to her handling (or mishandling) of Clark’s shooting death, Barry Accius, a community activist, said.