Officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet of the Sacramento Police Department will not be charged with the murder of 22 year old Stephon Clark.
Stephon Clark was shot 8 times in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18th, 2018. He was unarmed and he leaves behind a widow and two children.
The announcement came yesterday when Sacramento District Attorney Ann Marie Schubert held an hour long press conference after an almost year long “investigation.” Schubert’s office has investigated 30 cases where police have used deadly force against unarmed people of color, most of whom have been black. No charges have been filed in any of these cases. Members of the community felt the announcement was filled with implicit bias and was merely an hour long justification of the murder.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento has been putting pressure on the DA’s office since Clarks death by hosting weekly demonstrations outside of her office. Upon announcement of the investigation’s conclusion BLM Sacramento mobilized members of the community to hold space in front of the police station on Freeport Blvd. The event was peaceful and nonviolent, as have been all BLM organized events, and was a very somber gathering. Members from multiple groups showed up to the demonstration to show support including members of the Democratic Socialists of America, Sacramento Acting Congregations Together, Party of Socialism and Liberation, Allies of Black Lives Matter, and several others.
Near the end of the gathering, Antifascist activists burned a series of Blue Lives Matter flags.
There were other demonstrations as well. Members of Sacramento state’s Black Student Union have also begun a sit in at Arden-Fair Mall, effectively shutting down business operations for the weekend.
While both events were going on, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg did not make an appearance at the gathering of the community but instead hosted his own press conference addressing the issue. The Mayor has claimed that he wants to hear all sides about this issue so that the community will heal. The Mayor’s position on racial justice might be compromised however because records on followthemoney.org show that in his 2010 election to the California State Senate Steinberg accepted $4,000 in campaign contributions from Correctional Corporation of America (now called CoreCivic) which is one of the largest private prison companies in the United States.
Protests and actions demanding justice for Stephon Clark and an end to police violence are likely to increase in the weeks to come.