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Shooting of Stephon Clark Sparks Outrage in Sacramento

Demonstrators take to the streets to protest another killing of an unarmed black man in the U.S.

Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images

Hundreds of demonstrators in Sacramento, California took to the streets on Thursday to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, shutting down Interstate 5 — a major highway — and temporarily blocking the entrance to Golden 1 Center, where a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks was about to start.

Stephon Clark was shot 20 times in his grandparents' backyard last Sunday. Sacramento police, responding to reports of car break-ins in the area, opened fire on the 22-year-old father of two; they reportedly believed he was advancing toward them with a gun. After an exhaustive search, police found only a cellphone in Clark's possession. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Stephon Clark was shot 20 times in his grandparents' backyard last Sunday. Sacramento police, responding to reports of car break-ins in the area, opened fire on the 22-year-old father of two; they reportedly believed he was advancing toward them with a gun. After an exhaustive search, police found only a cellphone in Clark's possession. On Wednesday, police released body-camera footage of the shooting as well as thermal-imaging video taken from a Sacramento Sheriff's Department helicopter. The video shows Clark running from a neighbor's yard to his grandmother's house as Sacramento police officers take cover at the edge of the home. The officers are heard yelling for Clark to stop and show them his hands before firing shots. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images On Wednesday, police released body-camera footage of the shooting as well as thermal-imaging video taken from a Sacramento Sheriff's Department helicopter. The video shows Clark running from a neighbor's yard to his grandmother's house as Sacramento police officers take cover at the edge of the home. The officers are heard yelling for Clark to stop and show them his hands before firing shots. Clark's death comes less than two years after the shooting of Joseph Mann, an unarmed Sacramento black man who was killed by police in July 2016. And, of course, it continues a pattern of young black men—Michael Brown, Philando Castile, among many others— being shot by police. Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images Clark's death comes less than two years after the shooting of Joseph Mann, an unarmed Sacramento black man who was killed by police in July 2016. And, of course, it continues a pattern of young black men—Michael Brown, Philando Castile, among many others— being shot by police. Thursday's protest began when demonstrators stormed Sacramento's City Hall, chanting "No justice, no peace." Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Thursday's protest began when demonstrators stormed Sacramento's City Hall, chanting "No justice, no peace." A young girl wears a shirt with an image of Stephon Clark inside Sacramento City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images A young girl wears a shirt with an image of Stephon Clark inside Sacramento City Hall. The march then moved down Interstate 5 to the Golden 1 Center, where protesters formed a human chain to block the entrance of the stadium. There, they chanted, "Join us or go home." Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images The march then moved down Interstate 5 to the Golden 1 Center, where protesters formed a human chain to block the entrance of the stadium. There, they chanted, "Join us or go home." According to a Facebook event, Thursday's demonstration was hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento. A message on the Facebook event read, "We are tired of Sacramento law enforcement killing us! We are tired of talking and meeting and sitting trying to convince our elected officials that there needs to be change!" Justin Sullivan/Getty Images According to a Facebook event, Thursday's demonstration was hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento. A message on the Facebook event read, "We are tired of Sacramento law enforcement killing us! We are tired of talking and meeting and sitting trying to convince our elected officials that there needs to be change!" Black Lives Matter protesters block the entrance to the Golden 1 Center. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Black Lives Matter protesters block the entrance to the Golden 1 Center. Addressing the crowd inside the stadium, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive expressed his support for the demonstrators saying, "The Kings recognize the right to peacefully protest and we respect that, recognize we have a big platform. It's a privilege but also a big responsibility. We stand here before you, young, brown, black, white united in our commitment. We recognize it's not just business as usual. We will work really hard to make the world a better place starting with our own community, and will work hard to prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening again." Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Addressing the crowd inside the stadium, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive expressed his support for the demonstrators saying, "The Kings recognize the right to peacefully protest and we respect that, recognize we have a big platform. It's a privilege but also a big responsibility. We stand here before you, young, brown, black, white united in our commitment. We recognize it's not just business as usual. We will work really hard to make the world a better place starting with our own community, and will work hard to prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening again." A protester holds a photo of Stephon Clark outside of Sacramento City Hall. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images A protester holds a photo of Stephon Clark outside of Sacramento City Hall.
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