Sacramento’s Black community vowed never to forget Stephon Clark, the unarmed Black man killed by police officers in a hail of bullets last year. On Monday, residents of California’s capital city made good on their promise through several events marking the one-year anniversary of Clark’s death.
The Rev. Al Sharpton served as the keynote speaker at Monday’s remembrance commemoration at Genesis Church, the last of four Stephon Clark Legacy Weekend events that began with a teen summit on Friday.
The Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter also planned to hold a memorial on Monday for Clark. Activists arranged to meet at the city’s Meadowview light rail station, which served as the site of a vigil the day after the cops gunned him down. After that, they planned to march in the Meadowview neighborhood where Clark was killed.
Other events included an invitation-only Mothers Brunch on Saturday, a Day of Peach and Love rally on Sunday.
Clark, the 22-year-old father of two children, was gunned down by Sacramento police officers on March 18, 2018. Officers were responding to a call about a Black man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants hiding in behind a home after breaking car windows. Minutes later, two officers fired 20 times at Clark in his grandmother’s backyard. The cops claimed he had a weapon in his hand, which turned out to be a cell phone. The killing set off months of protests in Sacramento against the growing list of unarmed Black men killed by city’s police force.
The Sacramento County district attorney announced earlier this month that the two officers who killed Clark would not face criminal prosecution, setting off another round of renewed protests.
Tension has remained high between the city’s activists and police.
“I’m not working with law enforcement because they have been extremely adversarial. They will tell us one thing and make the public believe they are here to protect our protest and that they believe in the right to protest, and then they will turn around and arrest us when the veil of darkness comes upon the city,’’ Sonia Lewis, chapter leader of BLM Sacramento, told USA Today on Sunday.
Scroll down to see photos and video from this weekend’s events honoring and remembering Clark’s life.