Family, friends, and local community organizers poured into Bayside of South Sacramento Church on Thursday (Mar. 29) to memorialize the police shooting death of Stephon Clark. The 22-year-old was shot 20 times by two officers on March 18, sparking nationwide protests and the necessity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to PBS Newshour, Rev. Al Sharpton will present the eulogy. Clark’s family also shared their piece, namely his brother Stevonte Clark who recently shined a light on his brother’s memory during a City Hall meeting. Throughout Sacramento, he organized marches and said he and supporters “are the example of how to do it right,” in terms of rallying support for victims of police violence in lieu of the media’s coverage.
Stephon’s cousin, Suzette Clark, said that despite the grim outcome of her family member’s death, she hopes this moment can unite people from all walks of life to achieve a greater good. “I just hope it can bring people together,” she said via PBS. “Emotions are heightened, but I just hope everyone comes and shows compassion.”
Stephon Clark was gunned down in his grandmother’s backyard after a call about vandalism was placed to local authorities. From a helicopter’s view, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department closed its scope on Clark and relayed to authorities that he fit the description.
Officers began to purse Clark on foot and determined that he was armed with a gun. They proceeded to fire off 20 rounds. When the incident was over – according to the New York Times it lasted 10 minutes – Clark solely possessed a cellphone and not a firearm.