Police murder in Sacramento, California sparks two days of protests
24 March 2018
The release of footage showing the brutal police murder of 22-year-old Stephon Clark has sparked two days of protests in Sacramento, the capital of California, once again revealing the immense social tensions latent within American society.
Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Sacramento Thursday evening, occupying City Hall, blocking traffic on streets and Interstate 5, and preventing fans from attending an NBA basketball game played by the Sacramento Kings.
Early on Friday, Oakland attorney John Burris identified the two officers involved as Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet. In the afternoon, roughly 200 protesters again took to the streets of downtown Sacramento, repeatedly clashing with police. In the evening, a vigil was held in honor of Clark and others killed by police, near the site of Clark’s shooting. Hundreds gathered to honor his life and then marched peacefully through the nearby neighborhood.
The police murder of Clark, who was unarmed at the time of his shooting last Sunday, is one of the most egregious police killings caught on video in recent years. Body camera and helicopter footage released by police demonstrate that the Mercadal and Robinet never identified themselves as police and made no attempt to deescalate the situation before gunning down Clark. Instead, they immediately shouted, “Show me your hands!” and began chasing Clark into his grandparents’ backyard. Once there, one officer shouted, “Gun!” and the two opened up a volley of 20 bullets.
After killing Clark, Mercadal and Robinet continued to act as if he posed a threat, aiming their weapons at him for another six minutes and making no attempt to administer first aid….