Sacramento Protests Continue There is ongoing outrage in Sacramento surrounding the shooting death of Stephon Clark by police.
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Sacramento Protests Continue

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Sacramento Protests Continue

Sacramento Protests Continue

Sacramento Protests Continue

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There is ongoing outrage in Sacramento surrounding the shooting death of Stephon Clark by police.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Police shootings have been back in the news this week following the death of Stephon Clark earlier this month and new developments surrounding the 2016 killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. In a moment, we'll speak with the mayor of Baton Rouge, but first, Sacramento, where the release of an independent autopsy by Stephon Clark's family has led to further protests and vigils. Hundreds of protesters gathered at city hall last night, demanding that officers who shot him be held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Chanting) Black lives, they matter, right?

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Black lives, they matter, right?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Chanting) Black lives, they matter, right?

SIMON: Ezra Romero is a reporter at Capitol Public Radio. He's been covering this story. Ezra, thanks so much for being with us.

EZRA ROMERO, BYLINE: No problem.

SIMON: Help us understand the general feeling among many protesters last night.

ROMERO: Yeah, the community is angry and sad about the manner that Stephon Clark was killed. He was shot eight times and the majority of the bullets were in his back. This basically sparked fervor over - more and more fervor over his death. But they're not just upset about Clark. They're - they want change. Some want the police to be demilitarized. Some want the same amenities and resources that are being invested in other parts of the city like downtown. So they rallied, and there was quite a bit of anger down there. There wasn't really any violence that came out of it, but there was a lot of fervor. Jamier Sale - he's one of the protesters who made his way around downtown Sacramento. And he's from Sacramento. Here's what he had to say about the autopsy results.

JAMIER SALE: The surprise comes from the fact that all these shots hit him in the back, you know, and the police said that he was lunging at them with a gun, you know, so the police are over here still defending this narrative where he's coming at them like he's a threat to them. End of the day, they murdered this man, and they need to take responsibility for it.

SIMON: The protests were organized by the group Black Lives Matter - Black Lives Matter Sacramento. I wonder if you were able to speak with any of their members.

ROMERO: Yeah. Tanya Faison, she's the founder of the organization, and she actually led the rally last night. And when I spoke with her after the autopsy results were announced. She said, it's disgusting, and it's another blow to the community's lack of trust in police. She says this furthers the message that police should be responsible for shooting Clark when he had the unfair advantage. She says the police lied about every single thing, and how many others have they lied about?

SIMON: Mr. Clark's family organized this autopsy with an eminent doctor and they, of course, have been outspoken. Did they make any statements last night?

ROMERO: Yeah, at one point, the demonstrators tried to take Interstate 5. Again, that's the main artery that runs through downtown Sacramento. And when they did that, the officers wouldn't let them. But at that point, Stephon Clark's brother showed up, Stevantae, and instead of encouraging the protest, Stevantae asked them to stop. He yelled, let's invest in libraries and resource centers in the community and stop protesting. They didn't take I-5, and they just kept on marching.

SIMON: Is there any other plans from here this weekend?

ROMERO: Yeah, there's actually a lot. There's a peace rally scheduled later today, and this evening, another protest is scheduled in downtown. There's also at least two pro-police rallies or marches that I saw on Facebook scheduled for today as well. And as more and more unfolds, I'm sure there will be more and more protests and rallies and peace marches and peace moments here in Sacramento.

SIMON: Ezra Romero, Capital Public Radio, thanks so much for being with us.

ROMERO: Thanks for having me.

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