The brother of an unarmed black man shot and killed by Sacramento, Calif., police officers interrupted a city council meeting Tuesday night to demand justice.
Stevante Clark, chanting his brother’s name, Stephon Clark, stormed down the aisle toward Mayor Darrell Steinberg and members of Sacramento City Council. He climbed onto a desk and shouted down the mayor as more protesters poured into the chambers.
The grief-stricken brother briefly went before the microphone and breathlessly blasted the city administration until Steinberg brought the meeting to halt. More protesters were waiting outside to enter the chambers.
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: Please watch the video above. Is this the new definition of civil discourse? These people should have been thrown out before it was allowed to get that crazy.
Police said at least one person was arrested outside city hall for assaulting an officer, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Steinberg planned to resume the council meeting Wednesday afternoon but ultimately decided not to reconvene out of respect for a wake for 22-year-old Stephon Clark, the man fatally shot by two police officers in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18.
The gun officers believed Clark was holding turned out to be a cell phone.
The officers, who were responding to a report of someone breaking car windows, fired 20 rounds at Clark. They have not been identified.
The protesters that gathered at Sacramento City Hall marched to the Golden 1 Center, locking down the mostly-empty arena as the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks were playing. Only about 4,000 spectators were able to make it to the game before the doors were closed.
Also on Tuesday, California’s attorney general office joined the investigation into the fatal police shooting in hopes of bringing “faith and transparency” to the case.
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California DOJ to join the investigation into Stephon Clark shooting
The California Department of Justice will join the investigation of the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark who was gunned down by two police officers after a chase that ended with the unarmed man dead in his grandparents’ backyard earlier this month.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced at a press conference Tuesday that his department’s inquiry will also include a review of law enforcement policies, procedures and practices at the Sacramento Police Department to identify ways to achieve safer outcomes.
“Although we will continue to coordinate with the Sacramento Police Department, we will retain our independence as we conduct this review,” he said, adding that its findings “will be based on the facts and the law; nothing more, nothing less.”
Becerra also noted he has independent authority to consider prosecution of the two officers involved in the killing, something Clark’s family is urging officials to pursue.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said the attorney general’s office is joining the investigation at his request, considering “the extremely high emotions, anger and hurt in [Sacramento].”
“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,” he said during the press conference.
Hahn said the police department will fully cooperate with Becerra and it planned to continue openly sharing information with the public as quickly as possible.
“We released body-cam and helicopter footage within three days,” he reminded residents and activists who have in recent days taken to the streets in protest. “Because that was the right thing to do for our community.”
Clark was killed by officers responding to a call about a person allegedly breaking car windows in the neighborhood where the 22-year-old’s grandmother lives. Police spotted Clark and gave chase. Body-camera video footage captured the brief pursuit, during which the officers were heard yelling that Clark had a gun. At no point in the footage are they heard identifying themselves as police officers but the sounds of 20 rounds striking Clark can be heard.
The object in Clark’s hand turned out to be not a gun but a cellphone.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, whose office is conducting its own investigation into what she called “a tragedy,” cautioned residents to be patient.
“Understand that this process will take time,” she said. “Thorough and fair independent review demands that we do it right.”
Mayor Darrell Steinberg and local religious leaders also called for peace and calm in the weeks ahead.
“I recognize that we have difficult days ahead as we grieve and confront the death of Stephon Clark,” Steinberg said, imploring the public not to resort to violence.
“Violence must not beget violence. The country is watching us. Let us show how a city in pain, together with all of our partners, can in fact achieved a better way,” he said.
The Sacramento City Council is holding a meeting Tuesday evening to allow residents an opportunity to discuss Clark’s shooting with a panel of city leaders.
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