Stevante Clark, center right, was emotional during the funeral for Stephon Clark in Sacramento.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool)
Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police in with his grandparents in the backyard — sparking widespread protests was laid to rest Thursday with a funeral filled with emotional grief and about 500 people.
Clark’s brother, Stevante, threw himself on the coffin and embraced him with hugs and kisses after the opening prayer at the Bayside South san francisco church, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Stevante led the crowd in chants of the names of his brother and interrupted speakers at times. He and Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave the eulogy, also led people in a question and answer, shouting, “I am,” and the crowd responds, “Stephon Clark.”
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Stephon Clark’s cousin, Suzette Clark, told The Associated Press, the family wanted to Clark, who was a Muslim, and to be remembered as “more than just a hashtag.”
“I just hope that it can bring people together,” she said. “Emotions are heightened, but I hope everyone comes and shows compassion.”
Stephon Clark’s brother says Sacramento failed the people
California’s capital city is on the edge since Sacramento police officers, responding to a report of someone breaking car windows, shot and killed Clark. Video of the night incident released by police showed a man, later identified as Clark carried out in the back yard, where the police fired 20 rounds at him after yelling “gun, gun, gun.”
It turned out Clark was holding a mobile phone.
Sharpton and others punished President Donald Trump for not responding to police shootings of young black men. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the Clark shooting, and demurred, referring to it as a local problem.
Funeral for Stephon Clark, followed by a presser
“That is a structural problem, not a local problem,” said Zaid Shakir, a prominent California imam and former spiritual advisor to Mohammed Ali. “That is an American issue, a uniquely American problem.”
Protesters — including Stevante, which disrupted a city council meeting earlier this week and chanted the name of his brother called for the police to face criminal prosecution.
The recording is moved to the Black Life Out of the movement back in the forefront. Two of the officers have been identified in the media, who say that a white and a black.
Accountability. We Are One. #StephonClark pic.twitter.com/123y5etYdE
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 25, 2018
“We are not angry at the enforcement of the law. We try not to start a riot,” Shernita Crosby, Clark’s aunt said. “We want to let the world know, that we had to stop because black lives matter.”
After the funeral, the police drastically increased the security outside the center, the NBA arena, where protesters have blocked thousands of fans entering for the Sacramento Kings’ games.
Sacramento Kings guard The’Aaron Fox, right, along with teammates and the Boston Celtics players wore a T-shirt in memory of Stephon Clark, who was killed in a confrontation with Sacramento Police on March 18 for the start of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, California.
Metal detectors and barricades were erected outside the Golden 1 Center in advance of Thursday night in the game against the Indiana Pacers, and the fence is closed, a staircase to an outdoor plaza around the arena.
The former Kings player Matt Barnes attend the funeral and helped pay for it.
On Thursday morning, the Kings announced the team was together with Black Life to bring “transformational change,” and was the creation of an education fund for Clark’s of young children. The team also said that it was together with a local group with the name “Build. Black. Coalition,” the support of the black communities in Sacramento.
The arena, the home of the Kings is the focal point of a downtown revitalization effort. The area has struggled economically and has a large homeless population.
In a spontaneous and heartfelt speech on Wednesday night game, the Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said the shooting was “absolutely terrible.”
“I also wanted to say that we at the Kings people recognize the opportunity to protest peacefully and we respect that. We here at the Kings recognize that we have a great platform,” he said to the crowd. “It is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously and we are here for you — old, young, black, white, brown — and we are all united in our dedication.”
Also, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said that he was committed to working with Stevante Clark to more resources to his South Sacramento community.
The California attorney general’s office on Tuesday joined the research, a movement Sacramento police chief Daniel Hahn said that he hopes to bring “faith and transparency” to a case that he said has led to an “extremely high emotions, anger and pain in our city.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.