Sacramento Police Murder Unarmed Black Youth
Hundreds of Protesters Rock the City:
“You guys are murderers. Murderers.”

Updated March 26, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Update: On Friday, March 23, protests against the police murder of Stephon Clark continued for a second straight day and night, from before noon till close to midnight. Protesters blocked traffic at some of the busiest downtown intersections during the evening commute, chanting “Whose streets? Our streets.” When the marchers tried to get onto Interstate 5, they were blocked by a dozen Highway Patrol cops in riot gear and on horseback. The Sacramento Bee reports that protesters stood inches from the cops, chanting Clark’s name and shouting “Fuck the police.” At another point protesters reportedly surrounded a group of foot patrol and bicycle cops. Many in the crowd held up their cell phones and chanted, “Cellphones don’t kill.” One marcher said, “I’m mad. They look at us like we are bad people and we are the criminals, but they are killing us.”

In the evening there was a vigil for Stephon Clark in south Sacramento, which turned into a four-mile protest march, passing near the house where Stephon was murdered. After another standoff with the cops, the protesters dispersed. It was close to midnight.

Matt Barnes, former Sacramento Kings basketball player, announced he is joining former teammate DeMarcus Cousins to help with costs of the funeral for Stephon. Barnes earlier posted a picture of Clark with his daughter on Instagram, with the message: “Another pointless killing. This time in my hometown of Sacramento. Who’s gonna be next? Your brother, son, uncle, dad...?”


Stephon “Zoe” Clark, father of two children ages one and three, was murdered Sunday night, March 18, by two Sacramento cops—unarmed, in his grandparents’ backyard. The pigs fired 20 bullets at him after chasing him on foot through the neighborhood. The police claim they began chasing him after receiving a 911 call reporting that someone was seen breaking car windows. The pigs’ story is that they had Stephon “cornered,” and when he turned toward them, one cop shouted “gun” and they opened fire. In reality, they didn’t have Stephon “cornered”—he had arrived at his grandparents’ backyard, and he didn’t have a gun. All he had was a cell phone.

Stephon Clark’s grandmother told the Sacramento Bee, “The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground. I opened that curtain and he was dead.” She told the cops: “You guys are murderers. Murderers. You took him away from his kids.”

Outraged at the police murder of yet another unarmed Black youth, hundreds of people marched into Sacramento City Hall in protest on Thursday, March 22. Then they went onto the Interstate 5 freeway, blocking traffic for a mile in both directions while standing in front of cars chanting, “Don’t shoot. It’s a cell phone.”

The protesters then moved to the Golden 1 Center, where the NBA Sacramento Kings were scheduled to play the Atlanta Hawks. They locked arms, forming a human chain in front of the arena doorways, shouting “Shut It Down!” Forty minutes after the game was scheduled to start, with thousands outside unable to get into the game, the police announced that they were closing admission. Only 2,000 fans had gotten into the 17,000 seat arena.

On Wednesday evening the police released video and audio recordings of the killing of Stephon Clark, including from body camera footage from the two pigs who fired the shots and from a helicopter that hovered over the entire chase and murder. There was widespread anger at what can be seen and heard on the recordings, which have gone viral on social media. Black Lives Matter in Sacramento called for protests the following day.

The police night-vision video from their helicopter shows clearly that Stephon Clark had nothing in his hands while climbing over fences—a gun would have been easily seen anywhere on him. Yet police “experts” have already all but exonerated the two pigs. And the Sacramento mayor joined them, saying he was horrified by the killing but won’t second-guess the “split-second decisions” of the cops.

One of Stephon’s friends said, “He was a great dad. He loved both of them [the children] to death.” DeMarcus Cousins, former Sacramento Kings center, has reached out to the family offering to cover funeral costs.

Stephon’s brother told CBS Sacramento, "You’re going to know his name forever ... You’re going to remember it like how you know Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice. You’re going to know him. You’re going to remember this.

“I know there could have been another way. He didn’t have to die."

There’s a lot of talk about gun violence in American society now. Stephon Clark was a victim of a kind of gun violence that’s long been carried out by murderers with badges—about 1,000 killed every year, many of them Black, Latino, and Native American. Often it’s caught on video—but time and time again, the police perpetrators walk scot-free. This unjust violence stems from, and serves to enforce, a system that keeps oppressed people under conditions of poverty and degradation. It’s righteous that people rose up against the murder of Stephon Clark. The killer cops need to be convicted and jailed. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!


After the disruption of the Thursday night game the owner of the Sacramento Kings said in a statement: “We at the Kings recognize people’s ability to protest peacefully and we respect that. We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.

“And we stand here before you—old, young, black, white, brown—and we are all united in our commitment. We recognize that it’s not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting with our own community, and we’re going to work really hard to prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening again.”

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