Former Sacramento Kings player Matt Barnes held a rally in honor of Clark Saturday. Black Lives Matter led a protest through downtown the night before.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Downtown Sacramento erupted in protests on Friday night after an independent autopsy revealed a young black father shot to death by police on March 18 was hit at least seven times in the back.
The march was organized by the Sacramento Black Lives Matter chapter for Friday night. Dr. Bennet Omalu had announced the results of Stephon Clark’s autopsy that morning: Clark, 22, was shot seven times in the back, including his neck; an eighth bullet hit his leg. He was unarmed.
“Each one of these bullets possessed a fatal capacity,” Omalu said.
The Sacramento Police Department hasn’t received an official autopsy from the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office and did not comment on Dr. Omalu’s report.
Protesters gathered at 8 p.m. on Friday night at Sacramento City Hall on I Street where, less than a week ago, Clark’s brother Stevante rushed the dais during a city council meeting in protest of his brother’s death.
The march started close to an hour later, with upward of 300 people marching until 1 a.m. through the streets of downtown and Old Town Sacramento, disrupting traffic, flooding local restaurants and facing off with Sacramento police on freeway entrances.
Clark’s funeral was held on Thursday. Hundreds of community members attended along with Reverend Al Sharpton.
“Every one of those shots that entered that black man’s body was fatal”
While heated, the protests remained peaceful with no reported injuries, arrests or conflicts.
…and then this happened
Black Lives Matter leaders encouraged protesters to “follow black women,” and members of the Sacramento activist group Incite Insight passed out bottled water and snacks to protesters, who marched for four hours.
One of the speakers grabbed the megaphone to remind protesters that Clark was not just “killed”:
“What we saw was overkill,” he said. “Every one of those shots that entered that black man’s body was fatal.”
Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison opened and closed the march with the words of activist Assata Shakur:
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains”.
Faison and BLM Sacramento organized three straight days of protests outside Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office last week. Faison and other activists are calling to vote Schubert, a Trump supporter, out of office in this fall’s election.