By SOPHIA CONSTANTINO
The March 18, 2018, police shooting of unarmed Stephon Clark has sparked outrage throughout Sacramento, Calif.
Earlier this month, a 22-year-old black man, Stephon Clark, was shot and killed by two Sacramento police officers in his grandmother’s lawn. The officers approached Clark regarding a call about breaking car windows. They proceeded to shoot him with no less than 20 bullets, killing him at the scene, according to The Washington Post. The police claim they thought Clark had a gun, only a cell phone was found at the scene. A video capturing the incident can be viewed on CNN.com.
The shooting has since sparked protest, demonstrations and calls for prosecution of the officers responsible. In a meeting on Tuesday set to discuss the incident, residents packed Sacramento City Hall. The meeting lasted 2.5 hours, as it was continually interrupted by chants and emotional demonstrations of outrage. In a CNN.com video, Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, can be seen standing on the information desk and beginning a chant of “Stephon Clark,” during the meeting.
In a now viral demonstration, activist Berry Accius held up his cell phone in similar fashion to Clark, encouraging the council meeting attendees to do the same. He demanded of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, “Does this look like a gun?”
Body camera footage shows the officer’s yelling “gun,” in response to their allegedly thinking Clark held a gun, though footage shows that the officers failed to declare themselves as police before firing 10 lethal shots each at Clark. According to The Washington Post, more than five minutes passed before police called for medical attention, allowing Clark to die on the scene.
The California Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it will oversee a police investigation into the shooting, while Steinberg stated, “A 22-year-old man should not have died that way,” according to The Washington Post.
News media are still trying to piece together the details of the incident, releasing updated content as promptly as new details come to light. As the case progresses, news media attention shifts to the suspicious delay in calling for medical attention. On a national level, it brings the Black Lives Matter movement back to the media forefront.