Vigil honors Stephon Clark, marches through Meadowview neighborhood

Protesters marched to Clark family home


Jordan Silva-Benham - The State Hornet

T’Keyah Robinson holds a sign at a vigil for Stephon Clark in Meadowview on Friday. The vigil was held to honor Clark and demand for the imprisonment of the officers who shot him.

Nearly 100 peaceful protestors gathered for a candlelight vigil in Meadowview on Friday night to honor Stephon Clark and call for the imprisonment of the officers who shot him, Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet.

Clark was killed in his grandmother’s backyard in Meadowview last year, setting off a year’s worth of protests, public grief and national scrutiny. Last Saturday, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Mercadal and Robinet would not face criminal charges for killing Clark.

The vigil, which was organized by the ANSWER coalition, started at 6 p.m. and ended around 9 p.m.

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About an hour into the vigil, the intersection was blocked off by both police and protesters.

Jamier Sale, organizer for ANSWER coalition and Sacramento State alumni, led the vigil and chants using megaphone speakers that stood more than six feet tall.

“Same story every time, being black is not a crime,” the crowd chanted.

Sale said that the police didn’t see Stephon Clark like a person the night he was killed, but instead treated him like an animal.

“If they are not able to identify a gun that is firing from a cell phone they are not competent to protect,” Sale said. “They are a danger to all of us every single day of our lives.”

The chanting continued as the crowd grew, holding many signs, some that read “Sac PD stop killing us” and “Jail Mercadal and Robinet” among others.

“A week after Stephon Clark was killed my son was knocking on my window because he forgot his house key and I was like, ‘Oh my God, he could just be shot down,’” said Teresa Sale, Jamier’s mother. “So when these two officers were not charged, that’s saying to me that if my son was killed by police nothing would happen. That’s why I am here.”

Adam Jordan, a member of the Anti Police-Terror Project, also gave a speech to the crowd. encouraging them to join the organization to bring change. He said that one person cannot make the change on their own.

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“You can’t build a community by yourself. We’re trying to make this a better place for all of our children,” Jordan said.

Many members of different organizations were present to support the Clark family and the community to ensure the safety of the youth, including the Village Advocates, who were providing free water and food for the protesters.

“We support kids wherever they need us and recently the most important thing we’ve been doing is fighting for the causes of the police killing our youth,” said Christine Johnson, executive youth director of Village Advocates.

About an hour and a half into the vigil, protesters marched down 29th Street to Clark’s grandmother’s house, where his brother, Stevante Clark, led protesters to the back of the house shouting, “Stephon Clark. Stephon Clark.”

Police closely monitored the event on motorcycles, bikes and cars.

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Referring to the plaque laid down for Clark, Stevante said to the protesters, “This should not be here. We should not be here. I should not be talking to you.”

He then led the crowd in a short moment of silence before directing them to return to the street.  

“We’re gonna uplift his name,” Stevante said. “We’re gonna keep fighting for justice. We’re gonna keep fighting for accountability. “We want these officers to be fired. We want the district attorney to be fired. We want the attorney general to be fired. And at this point I even want Chief Hahn to be fired.”

RELATED: Stephon Clark protest in East Sac ends with 84 arrests

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Protesters went back onto the street where they marched back to the corner of 29th street and Florin Road chanting, “they shoot us down, we shut them down.”

The crowd gathered in the middle of the intersection of 29th street and Florin Road, stopping traffic. Many spoke to the crowd, sharing their thoughts, affirmations and experiences.

Sacramento State student and Black Student Union member Khalil Ferguson stood outside of the crowd listening to the protesters as they took turns sharing their words.

Ferguson said he was angered by the way the district attorney talked about Clark and believed she was dehumanizing him for alluding to the idea that he was attempting suicide by cops.

“This isn’t just a short term reactionary entity or phenomena, this needs to continue,” Ferguson said. “We need to apply pressure and enforce the pressure ‘till we get what we want, ‘till we get justice.”