Black Lives Matters protesters confronted one of the officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark, hours before his wedding
The protestors planned to crash the officer’s wedding day with the confrontation as a measure to inconvenience them and honor Clark’s death. Police killed 22-year-old Clark with eight bullets, six of them striking him in his back.
“I think they need to be approached in spaces where they’re a little more vulnerable,” said Sacramento BLM founder Tanya Faison.
“We’re not violent, we’re not gonna give to them what they brought to our community, we’re not gonna hurt anyone but we are gonna make them uncomfortable, and they should because someone is dead,” said Faison.
However, some criticized the wedding day confrontation stating that Faison and the small group of protestors went too far.
She replied, “no because he’s gonna remember this day for the rest of his life.”
“As a black man in the community, I’m concerned whenever there’s injustice on any black person, certainly there’s a right to protest but I think there are limits when to protest in a public place and the right of privacy for your wedding,” said community member Michael Keeley.
Another critic Susiann Donaldson believes the confrontation on the officer’s wedding day was uncalled for.
“No I don’t think it’s appropriate, that’s why I say there’s a time and place for everything,” Donaldson said.
The BLM organizers got wind of the names of the officers involved in Clark’s shooting, however, the Sacramento police have yet to release the names of the officers for fear of their safety. The news station blurred out the faces of the officers’ for the same reason.
On video, the protestors surprised a group of men and said:
“I just wonder if you started planning your wedding before you killed Stephon Clark or after? How have you been sleeping since March 18?” said one protester in the video.
Sgt. Vance Chandler with Sacramento Police said contrary to popular belief, the officers are having difficulty leading normal lives following the shooting.
“People may think that these officers are just going about their lives, but this is a very traumatic event for everyone,” he said.
The case is still under review and the officers involved have not been charged.
“I feel that our department has handled demonstrations and protests very well and we have taken great effort’s to allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights but on this one what is the purpose of this?” Chandler said.
Faison said the protests keep the Clark case in the light.
“Stephon Clark’s family is still mourning and suffering. He doesn’t get to be with his kids, or get married,” she said.
On Monday night, the Sacramento Police Officers Association president Timothy Davis, responded.
“The SPOA supports transparency within our Police Department. Transparency brings trust. Trust between our officers and the citizens they protect is an important aspect of a safe community. Our police officers are members of this community. They raise their families here. The send their children to schools here. They live their lives as a part of this community.
“Transparency comes with responsibility. Officers deserve to be free from harassment by individuals seeking their own forms of justice. True accountability can only come from our impartial judicial system and from our elected government.
The SPOA will continue to advocate for transparency and thoughtful improvements in police policies, but we request the respect of our community. Give our officers the ability to safely raise their families alongside you.”