Outrage over the shooting death of unarmed Black man Stephon Clark continued Tuesday as protesters disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting and blocked entry to the Golden 1 Center for the second time in a week.
Hundreds of demonstrators, including Clark’s older brother Stevante, attended the 5 p.m. meeting, which was intended to address the deadly shooting. Things quickly erupted into chaos, however, as protesters began banging on windows and chanting “Stephon Clark!!” throughout the City Hall chambers, Fox News reported.
Members of the community testified for hours, demanding an end to what they deemed as endemic racism among the city’s police. At one point, Stevante Clark hopped onto the dais to give an impassioned speech and shouted for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to just “shut the f—ck up,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The uproar prompted some council members to flee the platform as police entered the chambers to quell the crowd.
Stevante Clark, brother of #StephonClark, taunts Sacramento @Mayor_Steinberg as he disrupts a city council meeting at #Sacramemto City Hall. The special council meeting was held to address the killing of Stephon Clark by @SacPolice #BlackLivesMatter @GettyImagesNews pic.twitter.com/ry5rAJaees
— Justin Sullivan (@sullyfoto) March 28, 2018
Steinberg adjourned the meeting just before 8:30, citing safety concerns. One protester was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer, the newspaper reported.
Demonstrators later marched to the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento where they blocked the entrance to the Sacramento Kings’ game against the Dallas Mavericks. Protesters engaged in a similar show of resistance last week ahead of an evening match-up between the Kings and the Atlanta Hawks, leaving thousands of angry fans stuck outside.
“You ain’t seeing no game tonight,” protesters shouted at fans Tuesday night. “Join us or go home!”
The game started on time with more fans making it to their seats than during the first protest, the Sacramento Bee reported. An estimated 4,000 people attended the game, while thousands more were left stranded outside.
— Doug Johnson (@DougJohnsonFX40) March 28, 2018
The fiery protests come in response to Clark’s death early last week. He was gunned down in his grandparent’s backyard by two cops who mistook him for an armed burglary suspect. The officers fired 20 rounds, killing Clark, only to find not a gun but a cell phone.
Police body cam footage released last week only added fuel to the fire, showing officers as they muted their cameras, and waited longer than they should have to get medical attention for Clark.
“This city is killing us,” Malaki Seku-Amen, founder of the California Urban Partnership, shouted at the city council meeting. “And we demand economic equity and justice.”
Earlier in the day Police Chief Daniel Hahn announced California’s attorney general office will join the investigation. “Due to the nature of this investigation, the extremely high emotions, anger and hurt in our city, I felt it was the best interest of our entire community, including the members of our police department, to ask the attorney general to be an independent part of this investigation,” Hahn said according to the Associated Press.
That’s a step in right direction, however, Clark’s family is hoping for concrete changes. Clark’s uncle Curtis Gordon shared with the Associated Press, “We appreciate the conversation, but conversation without implementation of some true reformation means nothing. It brought us to this moment, but what about tomorrow? What about next week?
“You know, sadly, I have no confidence in America and the fact that I will probably hear another story sometime this year of an innocent life lost over excessive police force. It’s so common, you’re numb to it.”