A woman was struck by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle at a vigil for Stephon Clark Saturday after the deputy, who had been repeating “back away from my vehicle,” started driving, knocking the woman to the curb.
A friend of the victim identified her as 61-year-old Wanda Cleveland. Witnesses said Cleveland was standing close to the curb when the vehicle hit her on the right leg. Cleveland landed on her hip and shoulder and hit her head.
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She couldn’t move her head and she has a prior medical condition, according to Cleveland’s friend Ava Nadal, who witnessed the incident. Cleveland was transported to the hospital.
In a statement released early Sunday, the Sheriff’s Department said Cleveland sustained “minor injuries.”
“The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal review of the incident and the California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision,” the Department said.
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The Department said protesters had been “yelling while pounding and kicking the vehicles’ exterior” and that the vehicle “sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window.”
“The damage to the vehicle was not a result of the collision involving the pedestrian but was caused by vandals in the crowd,” the Department said.
Protesters began to chant “hit-and-run” after Cleveland was struck.
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The vigil was one of many demonstrations in recent weeks protesting the fatal police shooting of 22-year-old unarmed black man Stephon Clark. Sacramento has seen frequent protests since Clark’s death nearly two weeks ago.
Saturday’s vigil came just one day after the results of an independent autopsy showed Clark had been shot 8 times, with 6 bullets hitting him in his back.
Organizers said in a press release that the vigil would be held outside of the Sheriff’s Department Service Center on Florin Road to hold the Department accountable for its role in Clark’s death, noting that a Department helicopter assisted Sacramento Police officers on the night Clark was killed.
After repeating "back away from my vehicle" several times at protestors blocking traffic, an officer simply started driving, knocking a woman to the curb. Ambulances are now on the scene. @TheStateHornet pic.twitter.com/SGWGZ97SNK
— Nicholas Minges (@nickminges) April 1, 2018
The State Hornet will update this story as more information becomes available.
Update: This article has been updated to include the victim’s name.
Update: This article has been updated to include statements from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the vehicle as a police vehicle, when in fact, it was a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle.