BLACK VOICES
03/28/2018 01:33 am ET Updated Mar 28, 2018

Stephon Clark's Brother Shuts Down City Hall Meeting As Protests Continue

Stevante Clark lashed out at Mayor Darrell Steinberg during a meeting with community leaders.

Protesters took over parts of Sacramento, California, on Tuesday, still enraged over the police shooting of unarmed black man Stephon Clark. The demonstrations disrupted a city council meeting and forced a Sacramento Kings basketball game into a lockdown for the second time.

Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, led protesters into Sacramento City Council chambers in the middle of a public meeting held Tuesday evening to discuss concerns surrounding his brother’s death, according to CBS 13 Sacramento.

Clark interrupted the meeting by chanting his brother’s name, then took over the microphones to disparage Mayor Darrell Steinberg and ask for the community’s support.

“The mayor and the city of Sacramento has failed all of you,” Clark told the crowd after the council offered him a microphone to speak.

Stephon Clark was killed on March 18 when two police officers opened fire on him in his own backyard while responding to reports of car break-ins in his neighborhood. The officers said they thought Clark was holding a gun, but they later found he was holding a cellphone.

Earlier Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said his office would oversee the police department’s investigation into Clark’s death to “ensure a fair and impartial investigation.” 

The Clark family’s lawyer has also hired Dr. Bennet Omalu to perform a second autopsy on Clark’s body, independent of the one being completed by the Sacramento county coroner.

Stevante Clark’s disruption Tuesday forced the council to adjourn the meeting for 15 minutes, USA Today reported. Some protesters proceeded to the Golden 1 Center, where a game between the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks was scheduled.

Protesters surrounded the arena and stopped people from entering the game. The Kings were forced to lock down the entrances and offer refunds to ticket holders who did not make it in.

Back at Sacramento City Hall, the city council continued its meeting with the community as protesters gathered outside and banged on the windows.

The meeting went on for three hours, according to New York Times reporter Jose A. Del Real.

“Inside the council chambers, black community leaders are talking about healing, justice and reconciliation,” Del Real tweeted from City Hall. “Outside, angry protesters want to shut the meeting down. A striking juxtaposition.”

Tensions escalated as police attempted to detain people for banging on the windows.

Clark’s death has sparked unrest throughout Sacramento and across the country for more than a week.

Speaking with black community leaders at a City Hall press conference on Monday, Clark’s family called for the two officers to be charged for Clark’s death.

Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother who was inside the house during the shooting, demanded justice in an emotional speech at the conference.

“They didn’t have to kill him like that,” Thompson said. “They didn’t have to shoot him this many times. Why didn’t you just shoot him in the arm, shoot him in the leg, send the dogs, send a Taser. Why? Why? Y’all didn’t have to do that.”

Clark’s family has hired attorney Benjamin Crump to represent them. Crump has also represented the families of victims from other high-profile police shootings, including those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

At a news conference earlier Tuesday, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said he had asked Becerra to be “an independent part of the investigation” because of the “extremely high emotions, anger and hurt” involved with the shooting.

“Our city is at a critical point right now and I believe this will help build faith and confidence in the investigation from our community,” Hahn said.

The latest demonstrations come less than a week after protesters took over Interstate 5 in Sacramento and shut down the entrance to another Kings game last Thursday.

Meanwhile, protesters at City Hall on Tuesday made clear their pain over Clark’s death. 

“You’re killing us. You’re killing us. It’s genocide, it feels like genocide,” Black Lives Matter Sacramento leader Tanya Faison told the city council at Tuesday’s meeting, according to The New York Times.

“Those officers need to be fired. That’s the only way we’re going to get justice, to start, when you fire those officers.”

Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, disrupts a special city council meeting meeting at Sacramento City Hall on March 27
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, disrupts a special city council meeting meeting at Sacramento City Hall on March 27, 2018.
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