Sacramento Takes To The Streets After The Fatal Shooting Of A Dad 'Armed' Only With An iPhone

Residents call for political action in the wake of the shooting.

The Black Lives Matter movement was launched in response to the deaths of young Black men and women at the hands of police officers. Years after the movement's start, the purpose for its founding is still tragically relevant. On the night of March 18, in Sacramento, Calif.,  Stephon Clark was added to the list of unarmed Black men killed by cops, sparking outrage throughout his family, community and the nation.

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According to The Washington Post, the police closed in on Clark after responding to a 911 call reporting a man breaking the windows of vehicles in his neighborhood. Police went door to door in search of the suspect, eventually zeroing in on the 22-year-old father of two and cornering him under a covered patio. Body camera footage showed that, after some confusion, police suspected that Clark had a gun. In response to the perceived threat, two Sacramento police officers fired their weapons, shooting him 20 times, per The Washington Post.

Reviewing the body camera footage revealed that what police perceived to be a gun was, in fact, a white iPhone.

The events of that night have, of course, ignited criticism of the officer's actions, garnering the attention of civil rights activists like Rev. Al Sharpton. "It is an atrocity that an unarmed young man was shot at 20 times in his own backyard and shows the urgent need in these times for intervention against police misconduct," Sharpton, who has spoken with Clark's family, said in a statement.

Led by the local branch of Black Lives Matter, the Sacramento community rallied at City Hall on the afternoon of March 22 in protest of what the branch says is the murder of yet another young Black man by the city's police. 

"We are tired of Sacramento law enforcement killing us!" the chapter wrote in a Facebook post about the event. "We are tired of talking and meeting and sitting trying to convince our elected officials that there needs to be change!"

In addition to the rally, Black Lives Matter Sacramento is also starting a "Copwatch" program, in which people would be trained to record Sacramento police officers in order to deter police shootings, according to FOX40.

This weekend, Americans in cities across the country will march in protest of gun violence during the March for Our Lives. Sacramento's march will carry extra significance.

Cover image via Shutterstock / a katz / Shutterstock.com

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