“#Stephon Clark. Say His Name!”
Sacramento Pigs Shot Unarmed Stephon Clark Six Times in the Back!

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Stephon Clark, 22-year-old father of two young children, unarmed and in his own grandmother’s backyard, was repeatedly shot in the back by two Sacramento pigs, according to an independent autopsy released at a news conference on Friday, March 30. The autopsy was commissioned by Stephon Clark’s family and conducted by Dr. Bennet Omalu—best known for his work in highlighting concussive damage to football players—after the family was told by authorities that an official report would not be released until the case is finished in the courts. The autopsy report proves the story the cops told is a complete lie!—the lie that they fired 20 shots at Stephon the night of March 18 because he moved toward them pointing what they thought was a gun. No gun was found, only a cell phone.

Dr. Omalu told the press on Friday that Clark “was not facing the officers” when he was killed. “During the entire interaction, he had his back to the officers.” Omalu said the first bullet hit him in the side with his back “slightly facing the officers,” causing his body to turn. His back was to the pigs when they hit him in a storm of six more shots, striking him in the neck, back, and thigh, breaking bones and piercing his lung. The final shot to the front of the leg was fired when he was already on or falling to the ground. The bullets combined to make Clark “bleed massively,” but still, “Death took about three to 10 minutes.” In other words, after shooting a young, unarmed Black man in the back, these pigs just watched Stephon die, instead of making any attempt at assistance.

The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, who previously represented the family of Trayvon Martin, said, “This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”

The police murder of Stephon Clark has awakened the people of Sacramento like never before, with nearly daily protests and major disruptions of business as usual, and numerous confrontations with the police. Angry protesters have repeatedly marched through the streets, shutting down rush hour traffic; they’ve taken over Interstate 5 and backed up cars for a mile in each direction; they’ve taken over a city hall meeting; taken over the neighborhood where Stephon lived—and died—and twice blocked the entrance to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings games, leaving the teams to play before largely empty stands. The courage and determination of this increasingly multinational uprising has inspired a growing number of protests around the country.

Well over 500 people attended the funeral for Stephon on Thursday, March 29, in a powerful and moving event for everyone who was there. Stephon’s brother Stevante, who has responded to the murder by being in the forefront of these protests, interrupted the service at one point to call on people to “never forget Stephon!” People of all nationalities attended, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders. An imam who spoke said, “At some point you ask yourself, ‘If a system keeps on making these fatal mistakes, at what point is the system disqualified? At what point is the system evil?’”

On Saturday, March 31, 400 people took part in a rally, organized by former NBA player Matt Barnes, across from City Hall. That evening, at a vigil, a 61-year-old protester was injured when a Highway Patrol SUV hit her, throwing her into the air, and then drove away. She said at the hospital, “If I did that I’d be charged. It’s disregard for human life.”

How many more times will we have to listen to pigs—and this whole system that backs them—“justify” their utter depravity toward Black, Latino, and Native American young people by saying “we thought he had a gun”? This time, once again, there was no gun. These police killings, over and over again, are not accidents. They are not the result of “lack of training” or “bad policies.” Why do they get away with it almost every time? Because they are doing what they are supposed to do as armed protectors of the system that rules over the people.

Enough Is Enough! Time’s Up for This System! No More!

Black Students in Parkland, Florida, Speak Out:

“The police presence at my school is not comforting... We have invited those who are infected with the disease of prejudice to protect us.”

On Wednesday, March 28, Black students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, held a press conference. They wanted the world to know that in the wake of the mass shooting at their school, the media has ignored them; they feel less safe with more police in their schools, and that the conversation about gun violence must include discussion of the police murder of Black people.

In the wake of the mass shooting, MSD students are required to carry clear backpacks, and Florida Highway Patrol forces are patrolling the campus. The students are told this is for their safety. But for Black students growing up seeing the police murder of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, and many, many more—the assumption that more cops means being safer is a complete slap at reality.

Eleven percent of the 3,000 students at MSD are African-American, and the student population is 39 percent people of color. “The media have neglected us,” Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a junior at MSD, said at the press conference. Roberts said, “The Black Lives Matter movement has been addressing [gun violence] since the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, yet we have never seen this kind of support for our cause, and we surely do not feel the lives or voices of minorities are valued as much as those of our white counterpart. And black and brown men and women are disproportionately targeted and killed by law enforcement based on population. These are not facts I can live with comfortably.... This is just as much a black issue as a white issue. We have to include police brutality because that is gun violence.... Everywhere I turn there is an armed guard. It feels like the Stoneman Douglas penitentiary.” Roberts asked whether the people who showed up for the March for Our Lives on March 24 will protest police killings of Black people.

Kai Koerber, a 17-year-old student at MSD, said, “The police presence at my school is not comforting. It’s intimidating.... We have police towers in front, military-grade entry and exit points, and now we have invited those who are infected with the disease of prejudice to protect us.... It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks. Should we also return with our hands up?”

Koerber told CNN, “The police are making their own rules and are turning our school into a police state. Every day, students lose more and more freedoms at MSD. Students of color have become targets and white students have become suspects.... Students of color, black and brown students like myself, have been racially profiled while we are on heightened alert, fearing the emergence of another Caucasian shooter.”

Tiffany Burks, from the Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, which helped organize the press conference, echoed this sentiment, saying that the conversation about gun violence means broadening the topic from mass shootings to police-involved shootings. Burks said it was particularly jarring for Black students to return to a school swarming with police: “They were shook. It felt like there was a thousand police there. Having all those police there made their school feel like a prison.... Is the solution to less gun violence more guns, just with police officers’ names on them?”

The Black students at MSD are speaking out as determined protests continue against the police murder of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California, and around the country, and only days after the system refused to charge police with the murder of Alton Sterling. These students are pointing to the hypocrisy of having the discussion of “gun control” while excluding discussion of the fact that guns in the hands of the police murder unarmed people all the time, especially Black people and other people of color.


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