Stephon Clark protests continue outside District Attorney’s office

Protesters speak out at District Attorney’s office, city hall

Lindsay+Williams%2C+a+Black+Lives+Matter+Sacramento+protester%2C+leads+the+crowd+in+chants+with+a+megaphone.+BLM+held+a+protest+at+the+DA%27s+office+on+Tuesday%2C+April+3+in+response+to+the+shooting+of+Stephon+Clark%2C+an+unarmed+black+man.
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Stephon Clark protests continue outside District Attorney’s office

Lindsay Williams, a Black Lives Matter Sacramento protester, leads the crowd in chants with a megaphone. BLM held a protest at the DA's office on Tuesday, April 3 in response to the shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

Lindsay Williams, a Black Lives Matter Sacramento protester, leads the crowd in chants with a megaphone. BLM held a protest at the DA's office on Tuesday, April 3 in response to the shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

Vincent Moleski

Lindsay Williams, a Black Lives Matter Sacramento protester, leads the crowd in chants with a megaphone. BLM held a protest at the DA's office on Tuesday, April 3 in response to the shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

Vincent Moleski

Vincent Moleski

Lindsay Williams, a Black Lives Matter Sacramento protester, leads the crowd in chants with a megaphone. BLM held a protest at the DA's office on Tuesday, April 3 in response to the shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

Black Lives Matter held a protest at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, April 3, before heading to City Hall for the council meeting.

The protesters rallied in response to the death of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was shot and killed by two police officers in South Sacramento on March 18.

Tanya Faison, the founder of the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, said the group gathered at the District Attorney’s office to ask that the officers who shot Clark be formally charged.

“We plan to stay out here and keep pushing until we get what we want. Even if it takes months, even if it’s until the new DA is in office, ‘cause I know that Anne Marie Schubert will probably not get elected again,” Faison said.

Outside the DA’s office, the crowd of 50 to 100 protesters chanted, “Say his name.”

They also shouted, “Hit and run,” in reference to Wanda Cleveland, a 61-year-old woman who was hit by a Sheriff’s Department vehicle while protesting in South Sacramento on Saturday.

Protesters at City Hall addressed the Council and Mayor Darrell Steinberg, demanding change and justice for Clark.

Senior Sac State sociology student Jacqueline Higuera attended a campus protest against Clark’s shooting earlier in the day, then went to the meeting at City Hall.

“I’m pretty disappointed with the faces of the board because they look like they didn’t care,” Higuera said. “They were uninterested and bored.”

One Sacramento resident, Lisa Yost, held back tears as she explained why she came to the protest: “To see justice for Stephon,” as well as for the “numerous” other young black men who have been killed by police.

“As a mother, it breaks my heart that we still have to do this,” she said, referring to the protest. “The police aren’t held accountable.” Yost said the best way to hold the police officers who shot Stephon Clark accountable is to fire them.

Sac State biochemistry student Andrew Dawid was among the protesters at the District Attorney’s office. He said he came to show support and to demand that the officers involved in Clark shooting be criminally charged.

Dawid said that he has attended activist marches before but found them underwhelming. Protesting with Black Lives Matter, he said, he felt like he and other protesters could accomplish something and affect change.

“It’s been done before, it’s not impossible,” Dawid said. “The ways (Sacramento Police) shoot first and ask questions later, that kind of thing needs to end. There needs to be a lot of analysis into the systemic racism that’s ingrained in the department.”

 

 

Another protester, Lindsay Williams, also said she came to the protest because she wanted the police officers who shot Clark to be indicted.

She also said she wants to see changes to the police bill of rights.

Williams, an Army veteran, said, “You’re not allowed to just shoot in the Army.” She said she wonders why police officers can fire their guns here, without the same level of restrictions that service members have.

Williams said she wants more people to come out to these protests, and said that protesting can be therapeutic. “People scream into their pillows, why not come out and scream in the streets?”

Jenna Durham, a psychology student at Sac State, said she and her friend, Patricia Aguirre, a mathematics student at Sac State, attended the protest because they are passionate about ending police brutality.

Aguirre said, “For me, it involved police acknowledging that they are wrong and that the system is broken in certain communities.”

Durham said that people in the community are at risk, so it is important for students to get involved.

“We are such a diverse community and it’s our own people being shot down,” Durham said.

“The chances of our black men being shot are getting pretty high,” she said. “Actions need to be taken to right the wrong that’s been done, because it keeps happening and nothing is being done about it.”

Aguirre added that the proximity to campus made the shooting all the more impactful to her.

“This is in our backyards at Sac State,” Aguirre said. “So it’s important to me, because I’m a part of the community and I need to support the community.”

Faison said that police reform is the next step, and is part of the solution in preventing future shootings.

“What I think city government can do differently, is I think that they can start putting our community oversight board in charge of the investigations of police officers that murder people,” Faison said. “I think the use of force policy needs to change because it has subjective language in it, like ‘I fear for my life.’ ”

She said this phrasing can be interpreted in many different ways, and that the policy needs to use objective language.

“It should have an official outline of when you pull your gun out and when you don’t,” Faison said. “And then there needs to be repercussions for the actions when officers don’t follow that. And once we start seeing repercussions, that’s when we’re going to start seeing justice.”

Additional Reporting by Caleb Danielson, Jordyn Dollarhide and Yajayra Gonzalez

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the District Attorney as Ann Marie Schumer. In fact, her name is Anne Marie Schubert. 

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