Nearly 100 nonviolent protesters were arrested during a demonstration in California’s capital city in response to the shooting of Stephon Clark — an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard back in March of 2018 by two Sacramento police officers.

Protesters hit the streets this weekend following the decision by District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to not indict Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, the two officers who killed Clark. The officers shot Clark — a father of two — when they allegedly thought his mobile phone was a gun. That mistake resulted in Clark losing his life to multiple bullets, including three in his back. The acquittal was the 34th consecutive time Schubert declined to indict officers who had killed someone.

Among those arrested were three clergy members in the Sacramento area. A reporter for the local newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, was also arrested by Sacramento police.

The protests took place in a wealthy neighborhood of Sacramento. After almost 3 hours of occupying the area, Sacramento police ordered the people to disperse. One of the reasons law enforcement gave for the dispersement was reports of cars being keyed near the area where the protesters gathered. Sacramento Police Capital Norm Leung tweeted a timeline of how and why the arrests took place, later tweeting “Ended with 80 plus arrests. Still processing it all.”

The demonstrations were among many across the United States that stretched from Clark’s hometown of Sacramento to New York City in protest of systemic racism by law enforcement across the country. During a gathering to protest for justice for Stephon Clark in April of 2018, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s vehicle hit a protester, resulting in minor injuries.

According to the Bee, Mayor Darrell Steinberg says he’ll ask questions as to why an order to disperse was necessary in this case and tweeted he was “disappointed the protest ended the way it did.”


Brandon Howard is a Grit Post contributor, auto worker, and former public radio reporter based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @mrpowerhoward.

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