Rally seeks justice for black man shot by police in backyard

Published 8:17 am Monday, April 2, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — People at a rally to renew calls for justice in the police shooting death of an unarmed black man expressed outrage over how an autopsy showed Stephon Clark was shot in the back, challenging the police department’s statement that he was approaching officers when he was killed.

Sacramento native and former NBA player Matt Barnes organized Saturday’s rally, which began hours before a Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors game was likely to bring thousands of fans to the downtown arena that protesters have twice blocked.

Barnes said the fight for justice for Clark, who was shot in his grandmother’s backyard, is about “more than color.” It “comes down to right and wrong,” and the two police officers who shot and killed Clark must be held accountable, he said.

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Clark’s fiancee and his young children were among those at the rally, which came a day after several hundred people mounted a mostly peaceful protest downtown.

“His back was turned — he didn’t get a chance,” said Latarria McCain, who joined Friday’s protest, which lasted more than four hours and disrupted traffic.

Several Kings players joined black community activists’ calls for racial justice at a community meeting on Friday, nearly two weeks after Clark’s March 18 death.

“I want to make sure that these mistakes that keep happening have consequences,” Kings guard Garrett Temple said.

Earlier, pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu announced that Clark was hit by eight bullets — six in the back, one in the neck and one in the thigh — and took three to 10 minutes to die. Police waited about five minutes before rendering medical aid.