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Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed on March 18th in another instance of police violence. And yesterday, March 22nd, in a powerful display of civil disobedience, Black Lives Matter activists protested Clark’s death in Sacramento. Here’s what you need to know about the demonstration and how you can support it.
According to the Sacramento Bee, demonstrators gathered at Sacramento City Hall around 3 p.m. where they stormed the building chanting, “Free the people.” The crowd then marched to the I-5 highway, blocking vehicles and chanting “Don’t shoot. It’s a cell phone!” Around 6:30 p.m., the activists reached the Golden 1 Center, the stadium where the Sacramento Kings play.
The protesters blocked entrance to the Kings game, resulting in its delay. From inside the Golden 1 Center, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé spoke up in support of the protest.
“What happened was absolutely horrific, and we’re so very sorry, so very sorry for your loss,” he told the crowd at the game. “I also wanted to say that we at the Kings recognize people’s abilities to protest peacefully and we respect that.”
Clark was in the backyard of the house he shared with his grandparents and children when he was shot 20 times by police on March 18th. The officers who killed Clark said they thought he was carrying a gun, but after his death they discovered he had only been carrying a cell phone.
In the wake of the protests, celebrities also commemorated Clark’s death. Amy Schumer shared a photo of Clark on Instagram today, March 22nd, writing, “Say his name Stephon Clark.”
Clark’s family has set up a GoFundMe page where you can make donations to help them fund his funeral. You can also support Black Lives Matter by making donations or joining an upcoming protest in your area. Similarly, you can join or donate to Campaign Zero, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending police violence.
And if you’re unable to contribute your time or money, contacting your elected officials is a useful way to demand laws preventing police violence. Listening to those most affected by police brutality is also an underrated tool, and if you’re not sure how else to help, the first step you can take is to educate yourself. We need to stand together to end police brutality.