A vigil for Stephon Clark, the young black father shot to death by police last month, turned chaotic Saturday night when a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle struck a protester and apparently fled the scene.
Wanda Cleveland had been marching down Florin Road in Sacramento with dozens of other activists when she was hit by the sheriff’s vehicle, video captured by Guy Danilowitz of the National Lawyers Guild showed. The sheriff’s office later confirmed the “collision.”
The vehicle immediately drove away, witnesses told The Sacramento Bee.
Cleveland, a politically active member of the community, was transported by fire department officials to a local hospital, according to the Bee. She was later released.
“He never even stopped,”′ Cleveland, who suffered bruises to her arm and back of her head, told the newspaper. It was a hit and run. If I did that I’d be charged. ... It’s disregard for human life.”
The vehicle accelerated “very fast” and struck Cleveland “violently,” Danilowitz told CNN.
“It was a very fast acceleration, not the way you would move with people around,” Danilowitz said.
The sheriff’s department is conducting an internal review of the incident, according to a press release issued by the office on Sunday. The California Highway Patrol is also investigating the matter.
The collision, which took place around 8:40 p.m. Saturday, occurred as sheriff’s deputies drove two marked patrol vehicles near the protest, the press released stated.
“As one of the Sheriff’s Deputies was driving, a collision occurred involving the Sheriff’s patrol vehicle and a protester who was walking in the roadway,” according to the press release. “The collision occurred while the patrol vehicle was traveling at slow speeds.”
“During the incident, the Sheriff’s Department vehicle sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window,” the press release said. “The damage to the vehicle was not a result of the collision involving the pedestrian but was caused by vandals in the crowd.”
A representative for the sheriff’s department did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.
Protests erupted across Sacramento this weekend after an independent autopsy revealed police officers shot Clark at least seven times in the back on March 18 while responding to reports of someone smashing car windows in his neighborhood.
“We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Thursday during Clark’s funeral. “Because this brother could be any one of us.”