Stephon Clark to be laid to rest in Sacramento amid protests over his killing
KXTV(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old black man who was unarmed when police shot and killed him in Sacramento earlier this month, will be laid to rest Thursday as mass protests over his death continue in California’s capital.
The funeral service, which is open to the public, will be held at BOSS Church in south Sacramento beginning at 11 a.m. PT. The Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to deliver the eulogy, according to ABC affiliate KXTV.
A wake for Clark took place at the church Wednesday night.
Clark died on the night of March 18 after Sacramento police fired 20 bullets at him in his grandmother’s yard. He was a father of a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, according to his brother, Stevante Clark.
Officers were responding to reports of a black male breaking into a car and hiding in a backyard when they encountered Clark last Sunday night. Police said Clark advanced toward the responding officers while holding an object in his hand. Initially, police reported that Clark was armed with a gun, then with a “toolbar,” but he was found to be holding a cellphone.
The fatal shooting came less than two years after the killing of Joseph Mann, another unarmed black man who was shot by Sacramento police in July 2016.
Widespread protests erupted in California’s capital and beyond after the Sacramento Police Department released body-camera and helicopter infrared footage of Clark’s killing. One demonstration outside the home arena of the Sacramento Kings basketball team last week caused a lengthy delay in a scheduled game and prevented ticketed fans from entering the event.
The footage released by police shows Clark running from a neighbor’s yard and onto his grandmother’s property. Officers are seen running down a driveway after Clark and taking cover at the edge of a building. The officers yell several times for Clark to stop and show his hands before firing a barrage of gunshots.
Clark regularly entered his grandmother’s home through the backyard because the front doorbell was broken, according to his brother, Stevante Clark.
The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave and reportedly have each received death threats. The Sacramento Police Department has so far refused ABC News’ request to release the names of the officers.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced at a press conference Tuesday that he will oversee an “independent part” of the Sacramento Police Department’s ongoing investigation into the shooting.
Clark’s family has retained renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida in 2012.
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