Funeral Held For Stephon Clark As Unrest Continues In Sacramento At Stephon Clark's funeral Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton gave a eulogy to the man shot by police in Sacramento last week. Hundreds of residents went to City Hall Tuesday to express their anger about the shooting.
NPR logo

Funeral Held For Stephon Clark As Unrest Continues In Sacramento

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598053634/598053637" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Funeral Held For Stephon Clark As Unrest Continues In Sacramento

Funeral Held For Stephon Clark As Unrest Continues In Sacramento

Funeral Held For Stephon Clark As Unrest Continues In Sacramento

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598053634/598053637" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

At Stephon Clark's funeral Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton gave a eulogy to the man shot by police in Sacramento last week. Hundreds of residents went to City Hall Tuesday to express their anger about the shooting.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mourners said goodbye to Stephon Clark today. He's the 22-year-old, unarmed black man killed by two Sacramento police officers earlier this month. The Reverend Al Sharpton eulogized Clark to a packed church. Capital Public Radio's Ezra David Romero is covering the ongoing protest around Clark's death.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #1: What do we want?

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #1: (Chanting) Justice.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #1: When do we want it?

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #1: (Chanting) Now.

EZRA DAVID ROMERO, BYLINE: The message is clear. Protesters want the officers, who killed Clark with 20 bullets, charged with murder. On March 18, Clark was shot in his grandmother's backyard after police thought he had a gun. Officers were looking for a car burglary suspect. When police inspected his body, they found a cellphone but no gun. Clark's cousin Andre Young spoke at a protest at the Sacramento County district attorney's office on Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDRE YOUNG: If this lady right here don't convict him, it's going to be a riot in Sacramento. Them cops - they need to go.

ROMERO: The shooting sparked outrage in the city. At the first demonstration last week, protesters ended up stopping traffic on Interstate-5. Later, they blocked thousands from getting into a Sacramento Kings basketball game. It happened twice in the past week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: And if we don't get it...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #2: (Chanting) Shut it down.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: If we don't get it...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS #2: (Chanting) Shut it down.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER #2: If we don't...

ROMERO: At Tuesday's public forum at Sacramento City Hall, more than 700 people showed up. The meeting was put on hold within minutes when Clark's brother Ste'vonte interrupted Mayor Darrell Steinberg

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STE'VONTE CLARK: We're not immigrants. We're not - that we're sons of [explicative] slaves.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMERO: The forum continued after a short recess. That's when community members testified about their anger and deeper underlying issues in the community. Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison was one of the voices.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TANYA FAISON: I got to live in a white neighborhood because my old, historically black neighborhood is too expensive for me to live in. Everything is falling on us. And then on top of this, you're killing us.

ROMERO: The meeting was put to bed hours early by Mayor Steinberg because of safety concerns.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DARRELL STEINBERG: We are going to shut the meeting down for tonight. We're going to shut the meeting down.

ROMERO: Not everyone appreciates the way protests caused the meeting to be shut down. Clark's aunt Shernita Crosby attended his wake Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SHERNITA CROSBY: That's not what we're about. We're trying to get to the bottom of it. We need to be able to talk to the mayor so we can tell him our concern.

ROMERO: Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told Capital Public Radio he is concerned that the protest could escalate. So far, there's only been one arrest.

STEINBERG: If our police department had not shown the incredible restraint, frankly, that they have shown in all these instances over the past week, we would have risked a full-scale riot.

ROMERO: Steinberg said he cannot second-guess the decisions made by the cops who killed Clark, but he said the shooting was just plain wrong. He says the protests are about more than Clark's death.

STEINBERG: It's about the struggles that people are having in their everyday lives, especially in communities of color.

ROMERO: Earlier this week, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn asked the California Department of Justice to independently investigate the case.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHIEF DANIEL HAHN: Due to the nature of this investigation - the extremely high emotions, anger and hurt in our city - I felt it was the best interest of our entire community, including the members of our police department.

ROMERO: The Sacramento Kings announced Wednesday they're establishing a fund for Clark's two children and are co-sponsoring a forum in Sacramento Friday. Protests are scheduled through this evening and have been held across the country. For NPR News, I'm Ezra David Romero in Sacramento.

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.