As the California Peace Officers Association hold their annual conference today in Sacramento, a counter protest will be headed by Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter and other organizers who have chartered a bus specifically to protest during the event.
It’s been six months since the shooting death of Stephon Clark by police officers and the group plans to protest outside of the Sacramento Convention Center, to keep the police brutality issue at the forefront.
“We will let them know, not in our streets,” the group said in a news release about the CopsWest Training & Expo, an annual conference of 1,500 officers sponsored by California Peace Officers Association taking place Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to the Sacramento Bee, speakers at the protest starting at 11 a.m. include Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza;Yolanda Banks, the mother Sahleem Tindle, a 20-year-old shot and killed earlier this year at a West Oakland BART station; and the Rev. Kevin Kitrell Ross of Unity of Sacramento and the Association for Global New Thought.
Other community organizations planning to join the protest include: Women for Equality, the Anti Police Terror Project, the Justice Team Network, and the Sacramento Justice League.
During a news conference, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones asked people to support the police at the convention center.
“We have a planned protest tomorrow at a statewide law enforcement conference down in Sacramento,” Jones said. “I know people have this overwhelming urge to do what they can. One of the things you can do is go down there. Go down to the convention center tomorrow between 11 and 1 and show your support for law enforcement.”
Berry Accius, a community organizer believes that Jones call to support police is more so a call for war on demonstrators.
“Scott Jones is declaring war on activists,” Accius said. “If there is any kind of clash, we know who will be protected and who will be arrested.”
Stephon Clark is the 22-year-old father of two who was fatally shot on March 18 in his grandparents’ backyard after, police claim, they were responding to a call regarding someone breaking car windows at night. Police said they thought they saw a weapon in his hand. After police fatally shot Clark they discovered he was merely carrying a cell phone.
Since the the shooting, a new policy was adopted by Sacramento police in July, that requires officers to weigh their own safety, potential danger to the public and the importance of making an arrest before pursing a foot chase.