Sacramento, March 30 (IANS) Hundreds of people attended the funeral of an unarmed African-American who was shot dead by police in the courtyard of his grandparents house, after several days of protests against police violence.
The funeral ceremony for Stephon Clark was held on Thursday at Bayside Boss Church in the California capital Sacramento and was attended by Clark’s relatives as well as Reverend Al Sharpton, an African-American civil rights activist, reports Efe.
“Stephon is going to live for generations to generations to generation to generations. The Clark family will never die,” said Stevante Clark, brother of the victim.
“This is a funeral that should not have happened. This is an unarmed young man going into his grandmother’s house, five feet from where she sleeps and he was shot at 20 times,” said Al Sharpton.
The death of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, a father of two children, has shocked Sacramento and received national attention.
Protesters have in recent days taken to the city hall and the Golden 1 Center stadium, home to the NBA Sacramento Kings, to express their outrage over the actions of the Sacramento Police.
According to reports, audio and video recordings provided by the authorities last week, one person called 911 on the night of March 18 claiming that someone had broken the windows of his vehicle and said the individual was still roaming the neighbourhood.
When the police arrived at the reported area, a helicopter informed them that they had located a suspect jumping over a fence to enter another courtyard, which turned out to be Clark entering his grandmother’s house.
The officers chased him, yelled at him to stop and raise his arms. Just a few seconds later, Clark was shot 20 times.
Policemen Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet believed that Clark was carrying a weapon at the time, but only his cell phone was found at the scene.
One of the most suspicious details was recorded minutes after the shooting when, with other officers arriving on the scene, an officer asked the policemen who shot Clark to mute the cameras attached to their uniforms.
Authorities said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will conduct an independent investigation into the incident.