News, Culture & Society

Protesters block traffic in Sacramento after Stephon Clark funeral

Dozens of protesters blocked traffic on the streets of Sacramento on Thursday after the funeral of an unarmed black father who was shot 20 times by police while in his grandmother’s backyard.

Black Lives Matter activists carried banners calling on cops to face charges over 22-year-old Stephon Clark’s death following a packed-out memorial service which saw his grief-stricken brother Stevante, 25, embrace Rev. Al Sharpton on stage as he led the tributes.

After the service demonstrators blocked downtown streets for the third day in a row during rush hour, although the protests remained largely peaceful.

Activists did not prevent fans from entering a heavily-guarded NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers at a downtown arena as they had during two previous games.

The Kings have recently announced a partnership with Black Lives Matter, and Stevante Clark asked protesters not to prevent fans from entering the event. 

 

About 100 Black Lives Matter protesters blocked downtown streets for the third day in a row during rush hour following the funeral of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was shot 22 times by cops while in his grandmother’s backyard

A motorcyclist burns rubber to try to drive away Black Lives Matter protesters as they marched through the streets during a demonstration on Thursday 

A motorcyclist burns rubber to try to drive away Black Lives Matter protesters as they marched through the streets during a demonstration on Thursday 

Sacramento Police officers secure the entrance to Golden 1 Center before a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings. Two games were disrupted earlier this week by protesters 

Sacramento Police officers secure the entrance to Golden 1 Center before a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings. Two games were disrupted earlier this week by protesters 

Sharpton, left, exchanges words with Stevante Clark during Thursday's funeral service at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church in Sacramento

Sharpton, left, exchanges words with Stevante Clark during Thursday’s funeral service at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church in Sacramento

This March 18, 2018 photo, courtesy of the family, shows Stephon Clark at 5:20 p.m. in the afternoon before he died in a hail of police gunfire in the backyard of his grandmother Sequita Thompson's home in Sacramento

This March 18, 2018 photo, courtesy of the family, shows Stephon Clark at 5:20 p.m. in the afternoon before he died in a hail of police gunfire in the backyard of his grandmother Sequita Thompson’s home in Sacramento

Clark was killed March 18 by two Sacramento police officers responding to a report of someone breaking car windows.

Video of the night-time incident released by police shows a man later identified as Clark running into the backyard of his grandparent’s home where police fired 20 rounds at him after screaming ‘gun, gun, gun.’

It turned out Clark was holding a cellphone.

His name has been a rallying cry at protests and calls for police reform in California and beyond. In Sacramento, protests have been concentrated on the office of district attorney Anne Schubert.

Families of people killed by police marched Thursday in Compton, calling for more transparency in use-of-force investigations, and the night before a small group of protesters gathered in New York City.

Many protesters chastised President Donald Trump for failing to comment on police shootings of young black men.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the Clark shooting and demurred, referring to it as a local issue.

‘That is a systemic problem, not a local problem,’ said Zaid Shakir, a prominent California imam and former spiritual adviser to Muhammad Ali. ‘That’s an American problem, a uniquely American problem.’

The near daily protests in downtown Sacramento have seen only a few instances of physical confrontations between protesters and police or other civilians.

Several protesters Thursday approached a line of police on bicycles, with one holding up a cellphone and asking ‘is this a gun?’

Black Lives Matter protesters block traffic in downtown Sacramento as they show support for Stephon Clark on Thursday, the day of his funeral 

Black Lives Matter protesters block traffic in downtown Sacramento as they show support for Stephon Clark on Thursday, the day of his funeral 

This protester held up a sign saying 'this is a gun' - a reference to cops' claims that they shot Clark because they thought his cellphone was a weapon

This protester held up a sign saying ‘this is a gun’ – a reference to cops’ claims that they shot Clark because they thought his cellphone was a weapon

Protesters have been calling for the police officers who shot Clark to face criminal charges ever since his death on Sunday, March 18 

Protesters have been calling for the police officers who shot Clark to face criminal charges ever since his death on Sunday, March 18 

A driver waits at an intersection blocked by protesters carrying Black Lives Matter banners as protests continued throughout Sacramento on Thursday 

A driver waits at an intersection blocked by protesters carrying Black Lives Matter banners as protests continued throughout Sacramento on Thursday 

There were few signs of disruption outside the Golden One Center on Thursday evening as fans queued up for the start of the NBA basketball game

There were few signs of disruption outside the Golden One Center on Thursday evening as fans queued up for the start of the NBA basketball game

Hours after the funeral of Stephon Clark on Thursday, Black Lives Matter protesters chant slogans and hold placards during a protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert

Hours after the funeral of Stephon Clark on Thursday, Black Lives Matter protesters chant slogans and hold placards during a protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert

Sacramento Kings employees check ticket at a barricade as fans enter the Golden One Center amid tight security in light of recent protests around the venue

Sacramento Kings employees check ticket at a barricade as fans enter the Golden One Center amid tight security in light of recent protests around the venue

The police were clad in heavy-duty body armor and riot helmets as they secured the entrance to the venue to prevent any disruption to Thursday night's game, which passed off without incident

The police were clad in heavy-duty body armor and riot helmets as they secured the entrance to the venue to prevent any disruption to Thursday night’s game, which passed off without incident

Tre Sellers marches with Black Lives Matter protesters with a sign listing the names of other victims of police shootings

Tre Sellers marches with Black Lives Matter protesters with a sign listing the names of other victims of police shootings

Stevante Clark speaks into a microphone during a Black Lives Matter protest against the killing of his 22-year-old brother, Stephon

Stevante Clark speaks into a microphone during a Black Lives Matter protest against the killing of his 22-year-old brother, Stephon

A woman holds up her fist while changing a slogan during the protest against the shooting of Stephon Clark that convulsed Sacramento on Thursday

A woman holds up her fist while changing a slogan during the protest against the shooting of Stephon Clark that convulsed Sacramento on Thursday

Protests have been continuing in Sacramento for days, and although some people heckled police the atmosphere was largely peaceful

Protests have been continuing in Sacramento for days, and although some people heckled police the atmosphere was largely peaceful

A woman holds up a sign calling on Sacramento's district attorney Anne Schubert to bring charges against the cops responsible for Clark's shooting 

A woman holds up a sign calling on Sacramento’s district attorney Anne Schubert to bring charges against the cops responsible for Clark’s shooting 

Protesters walk through Sacramento wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts and holding signs calling for action over Stephon Clark's death

Protesters walk through Sacramento wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts and holding signs calling for action over Stephon Clark’s death

Many protesters held up their cellphones to send a message to police who shot Stephon Clark because they thought his mobile was a gun

Many protesters held up their cellphones to send a message to police who shot Stephon Clark because they thought his mobile was a gun

About 500 people attended the funeral, where friends and family shared memories of Stephon Clark’s ‘keen dancing ability,’ sense of humor and smarts, and his desire to be a good father to his two young sons.

Speakers frequently started call-and-response chants of ‘I am … Stephon Clark.’

Stevante Clark took over the mic from Alice Huffman of the California NAACP as she spoke during the funeral at Bayside of South Sacramento church on Thursday.

The 25-year-old led the crowd of around 500 to chant his dead sibling’s name, while vowing that the ‘Clark family will not be forgotten’.

As others tried to lead him away from the mic, Huffman said, ‘Everyone has their own way of grieving.’

But as Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy after a musical and scriptural celebration of Stephon’s life, he brought Stevante back to the stage. ‘You don’t tell people in pain how to handle their pain!’ Sharpton said.

‘You don’t tell people when you kill their loved one how to grieve. We came because this boy should be alive today … It’s time … to stop the madness. We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice. This is about justice.

‘This brother could be anyone of us. This is not a Sacramento fight anymore, this is a national fight. Stephon has woken up the nation. We going to make Donald Trump and the whole world deal with the issues of police misconduct.’

Sharpton praised protesters who have been out in force the streets of Sacramento near daily since Clark’s death calling for police officers responsible for the shooting to face criminal charges.

‘They were not violent. They would not shoot at anybody 20 times,’ he said of the demonstrators. ‘They didn’t take anybody down. We saw the video. Do the right thing. We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice.’

He added: ‘I want the folk in California to know there is nothing wrong with the way these young people are standing up. They are trying to express their pain. We got their back!’

Stephon Clark's brother Stevante embraces Rev. Al Sharpton as he speaks at the funeral for his sibling who was shot 20 times by cops in his grandparents' backyard

Stephon Clark’s brother Stevante embraces Rev. Al Sharpton as he speaks at the funeral for his sibling who was shot 20 times by cops in his grandparents’ backyard

'You don't tell people in pain how to handle their pain!' Sharpton said as he led Stevante back to the mic with him

Stevante and Sharpton embrace

‘You don’t tell people in pain how to handle their pain!’ Sharpton said as he led Stevante back to the mic with him. The duo are seen embracing right

Stephon Clark's brother Stevante is seen speaking at the microphone at the start of the funeral service on Thursday

Stephon Clark’s brother Stevante is seen speaking at the microphone at the start of the funeral service on Thursday

Stephon Clark's sister, Shai'Ellesse Works, (middle) remembered how her brother had a keen intellect and achieved good grades in his honors classes at Sacramento Charter High School

Stephon Clark’s sister, Shai’Ellesse Works, (middle) remembered how her brother had a keen intellect and achieved good grades in his honors classes at Sacramento Charter High School

Rev. Sharpton points towards the crown while hugging Stevante Clark on the podium during the funeral service on Thursday

Rev. Sharpton points towards the crown while hugging Stevante Clark on the podium during the funeral service on Thursday

Stevante chanted his brother Stephon's name as friends beckoned him away from the microphone during the service at Bayside of South Sacramento Church

Stevante chanted his brother Stephon’s name as friends beckoned him away from the microphone during the service at Bayside of South Sacramento Church

Stephon's uncle Kurtis Gordon walks through crowds to his nephew's funeral carrying a bundle of service leaflets

Stephon’s uncle Kurtis Gordon walks through crowds to his nephew’s funeral carrying a bundle of service leaflets

Mourners wear shirts with an image of Stephon Clark as they stand in line to enter his funeral services  at the Bayside Boss Church on Thursday 

Mourners wear shirts with an image of Stephon Clark as they stand in line to enter his funeral services at the Bayside Boss Church on Thursday 

Mourners embrace before the funeral services for police shooting victim, Stephon Clark at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church on Thursday 

Mourners embrace before the funeral services for police shooting victim, Stephon Clark at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church on Thursday 

Mourners listens to a speaker inside the church, where every seat was full with family, friends, and members of the media

Mourners listens to a speaker inside the church, where every seat was full with family, friends, and members of the media

The hearse carrying the body of Stephon Clark, as it leaves the Bayside of South Sacramento (BOSS) church for the local cemetery

The hearse carrying the body of Stephon Clark, as it leaves the Bayside of South Sacramento (BOSS) church for the local cemetery

Stevante Clark shouts while hanging out of a car window as he departs his brother Stephon's funeral in Sacramento on Thursday

Stevante Clark shouts while hanging out of a car window as he departs his brother Stephon’s funeral in Sacramento on Thursday

Stevante Clark talks to members of the media after the service in memory of his brother, who family members remembered by his childhood nickname, 'Big Papa'

Stevante Clark talks to members of the media after the service in memory of his brother, who family members remembered by his childhood nickname, ‘Big Papa’

Two mourners comfort each other outside the Sacramento graveyard where Stephon Clark was interred following his funeral on Thursday 

Two mourners comfort each other outside the Sacramento graveyard where Stephon Clark was interred following his funeral on Thursday 

Sharpton hugged Stevante who vowed that he would work to let his brother’s legacy live on. He said: ‘We’re going to do coliseums for Stephon, we’re gonna do libraries, we’re gonna do resource centers. Stephon is gonna live for generations, to generations to generations.’

As the funeral started, Stevante was seen greeting other mourners by walking around the congregation and giving handshakes and hugs before kissing his brother’s casket, which was surrounded by a heart-shaped floral arrangement that read: ‘Rest in Power.’

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he’s committed to working with Stevante to bring more resources to his South Sacramento community.

The two spoke at the funeral, where Stevante apologized for previously disrupting a City Council meeting by jumping on a desk, dancing and shouting his brother’s name at Steinberg.

‘We’re going to forgive the mayor, amen,’ Clark said at the funeral. ‘Everybody say they love the mayor.’

Shernita Crosby, Stephon Clark’s aunt, has said the family isn’t ‘mad at all the law enforcement.’

‘We’re not trying to start a riot,’ she said. ‘What we want the world to know is that we got to stop this because black lives matter.’

Family members remembered Stephon Alonzo Charlie Evan Atheo Clark by his childhood nickname, ‘Big Papa’.

His sister, Shai’Ellesse Works, remembered how Stephon had a keen intellect and achieved good grades in his honors classes at Sacramento Charter High School.

‘I was so honored for my brother to be in the tenth grade and going to Sacramento High,’ she told the audience. ‘He was in all honours classes and every time he had trouble with him homework guess who did it? Me.’

And she joked about how Stephon used to stay at her house but then decided to move to his grandma’s, saying: ‘The only reason he wanted to move was because he said, ‘Shai Shai, you’re too strict, I’d rather go to grandma’s as she is less strict”.

She then added: ‘I just want you to know he was so smart. He was beyond smart.’

Rev. Al Sharpton, watches as the Clark family arrived at the Bayside of South Sacramento Church for Stephon's funeral service

Rev. Al Sharpton, watches as the Clark family arrived at the Bayside of South Sacramento Church for Stephon’s funeral service

Rev. Al Sharpton talks with members of the media before entering the service, where he gave a sermon in front of a packed congregation

Rev. Al Sharpton talks with members of the media before entering the service, where he gave a sermon in front of a packed congregation

The Rev. Ray Morsheth of Sacramento Revival Center previously said would stay away from the funeral for fear things could turn ugly, but the ceremony passed off peacefully. Pictured: Mourners prepare to enter the church

The Rev. Ray Morsheth of Sacramento Revival Center previously said would stay away from the funeral for fear things could turn ugly, but the ceremony passed off peacefully. Pictured: Mourners prepare to enter the church

Many mourners wore white shirts baring the face of Stephon Clark as they made their way to his funeral service on Thursday 

Many mourners wore white shirts baring the face of Stephon Clark as they made their way to his funeral service on Thursday 

A woman buries her face in a coat as she prepares to enter the church alongside other mourners for the funeral service on Thursday

A woman buries her face in a coat as she prepares to enter the church alongside other mourners for the funeral service on Thursday

Steven Ash holds a sign with an image of Stephon Clark and the hashtag of his name that has been circulating on Twitter as he waits in line to enter the funeral service

Steven Ash holds a sign with an image of Stephon Clark and the hashtag of his name that has been circulating on Twitter as he waits in line to enter the funeral service

A Black Lives Matter protester holds up a banner reading 'Say his name' - echoing what Stevante Clark said to CNN host Don Lemon in an interview about his brother

A Black Lives Matter protester holds up a banner reading ‘Say his name’ – echoing what Stevante Clark said to CNN host Don Lemon in an interview about his brother

A woman wears Black Lives Matter earrings while waiting in line to enter Stephon Clark's funeral on Thursday 

A woman wears Black Lives Matter earrings while waiting in line to enter Stephon Clark’s funeral on Thursday 

Hundreds of mourners were in attendance the funeral of Stephon Clark at the  church on Thursday, with some wearing hand-made shirts bearing his face 

Hundreds of mourners were in attendance the funeral of Stephon Clark at the church on Thursday, with some wearing hand-made shirts bearing his face 

A mourner holds up a photo of police shooting victim Stephon Clark during his funeral service at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church on Thursday

A mourner holds up a photo of police shooting victim Stephon Clark during his funeral service at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church on Thursday

Friends and family gathered today to pay their respects for Clark, an unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police in his grandparents' backyard a week ago

Friends and family gathered today to pay their respects for Clark, an unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police in his grandparents’ backyard a week ago

Mourners wait in line to enter the Bayside of South Sacramento Church for the funeral of Stephon Clark on Thursday

Mourners wait in line to enter the Bayside of South Sacramento Church for the funeral of Stephon Clark on Thursday

Mourners in attendance at the wake on Wednesday called for police to face criminal charges and donned black shirts calling for justice. One woman was seen wearing Black Lives Matter earrings.

Beforehand Stevante had to be held back by friends as he screamed at the media outside the wake for his sibling, who was shot 20 times by cops who said they mistook his cellphone for a gun.

He moved towards reporters set up outside the Bayside of South Sacramento church and shouted at them to ‘go away’ because they ‘don’t care’ about his family.

A security guard ran over to intervene before one of Clark’s friends pulled him away towards the church where his family were already gathered.

Several minutes later Clark came back outside to heckle reporters – who were allowed to set up outside a public wake – but was quickly carried away.

That evening Stevante clashed with Don Lemon during an uncomfortable live interview about his brother’s death.

The distraught sibling repeated ‘say his name, say his name’ as the CNN anchor asked him to talk about his brother and hit out against the media for ‘following us everywhere we go’.

Lemon said ‘I know you are in grief’ before Clark moved on to discuss how he had teamed up with Sacramento’s mayor to build a library and recreation center in his sibling’s memory.   

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, left, talks with Stevante Clark during Stephon's memorial service on Thursday. Stevante has now called on his supporters to back Steinberg's efforts to mark his brother's memory, in a dramatic change of stance from Tuesday night's council meeting when he swore at him

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, left, talks with Stevante Clark during Stephon’s memorial service on Thursday. Stevante has now called on his supporters to back Steinberg’s efforts to mark his brother’s memory, in a dramatic change of stance from Tuesday night’s council meeting when he swore at him

Stevante embraces a supporter after Stephon's funeral. Protesters against police brutality have been continuing throughout Thursday in the Californian capital

Stevante embraces a supporter after Stephon’s funeral. Protesters against police brutality have been continuing throughout Thursday in the Californian capital

A demonstrator speaks during a protest in Compton, where people held up signs showing police officers who have shot people which on patrol

A demonstrator speaks during a protest in Compton, where people held up signs showing police officers who have shot people which on patrol

Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg walks into the service with Stevante Clark, who has spoken about their joint plans for a community center in Stephon's memory

Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg walks into the service with Stevante Clark, who has spoken about their joint plans for a community center in Stephon’s memory

Many supporters of the Clark family have been calling for police to face criminal charges over Stephon's death, although there were few visible protests outside his funeral on Thursday

Many supporters of the Clark family have been calling for police to face criminal charges over Stephon’s death, although there were few visible protests outside his funeral on Thursday

Stevante Clark disrupted a city council meeting on Tuesday, jumping on the platform and chanting his brother's name at Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Stevante Clark disrupted a city council meeting on Tuesday, jumping on the platform and chanting his brother’s name at Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Clark sits in front of Mayor Darrell Steinberg while urging the audience to repeat his brother's name to protest his death on Sunday, March 18

Clark sits in front of Mayor Darrell Steinberg while urging the audience to repeat his brother’s name to protest his death on Sunday, March 18

On Wednesday, Stevante clashed with Don Lemon during an uncomfortable live interview about his brother's death

On Wednesday, Stevante clashed with Don Lemon during an uncomfortable live interview about his brother’s death

Earlier that day Stevante shouted at reporters outside his brother's wake at the Bayside of South Sacramento church before being carried away by a friend

Stevante Clark carried away by a friend after screaming at reporters outside his brother's wake

Earlier that day Stevante shouted at reporters outside his brother’s wake at the Bayside of South Sacramento church before being carried away by a friend

There have been repeated protests Stephon's death on Sunday, March 28, including this Black Lives Matter's Protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert on Wednesday, where Stevante was seen holding a banner

There have been repeated protests Stephon’s death on Sunday, March 28, including this Black Lives Matter’s Protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert on Wednesday, where Stevante was seen holding a banner

Stevante speaks during a Black Lives Matter protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert on Wednesday

Stevante speaks during a Black Lives Matter protest outside the office of Sacramento district attorney Anne Schubert on Wednesday

Black Lives Matter also mounted a protest in New York on Wednesday, where its local leader Hawk Newsome, is seen being arrested

Black Lives Matter also mounted a protest in New York on Wednesday, where its local leader Hawk Newsome, is seen being arrested

People blocked from entering the Golden 1 Center stand outside metal detectors on Tuesday after they were blocked from entering because of a demonstration over Clark's shooting

People blocked from entering the Golden 1 Center stand outside metal detectors on Tuesday after they were blocked from entering because of a demonstration over Clark’s shooting

Police have revealed bodycam video footage of the horrific shooting that saw the two cops shout ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’ before opening fire in the darkened backyard.

In the clip they do not identify themselves as officers and hail down fire while still asking Clark to raise his hands.

Another clip, taken from the police helicopter and shot in infrared, shows Clark jumping a neighbor’s fence to get into his family’s backyard.

Two officers are spotted moving along the side of the house. They then confront him and open fire.

Clark collapses to the ground.

Cops said they opened fire because he was walking towards them holding an object they believed to be a gun, saying they feared for their safety.

It was found to be a cell-phone.       

As Clark lay dying on the ground, the officers yelled at him to 'show me your hands!'

As Clark lay dying on the ground, the officers yelled at him to ‘show me your hands!’

Officers fired 20 times at Clark, after chasing him through the streets at night, into the backyard of his grandparents' house (pictured after being shot)

Officers fired 20 times at Clark, after chasing him through the streets at night, into the backyard of his grandparents’ house (pictured after being shot)

Police have released shocking video that shows the moment cops shot Clark dead after they thought his cell phone was a gun

Police have released shocking video that shows the moment cops shot Clark dead after they thought his cell phone was a gun



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.