Sacramento police arrested over 80 protestors including a reporter who took the streets in Stephon Clark’s defense Monday night.
Just days after Sacramento County prosecutors decided to not charge the two cops who killed an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, around 80 people were taken away in handcuffs during a protest. Police who arrested the civilians, including a reporter and clergy members, felt they were “unlawfully assembling by standing in the street” and said they were vandalizing vehicles, per Sgt. Vance Chandler of the Sacramento Police Department.
According to the Sacramento Bee, one of their reporters, Dale Kasler, was detained for close to an hour and a photographer, Hector Amezcua, was “pushed to the ground by an officer’s baton and had his equipment damaged.” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg took to Twitter to express his disappointment about the arrests.
“I’m very disappointed that the protest ended the way it did,” he wrote on Twitter. “I have many questions about what caused the order to disperse and the subsequent arrests. I will withhold further comment until I get answers to these crucial questions tonight or tomorrow morning. No matter the reason an order to disperse was given, no member of the press should be detained for doing their job.”
Sacramento Police Capt. Norm Leong continuously tweeted throughout the night about the growing size of the crowd. He said they saw “cars getting keyed” so they decided to move closer to the commotion. He later tweeted that they arrested over 80 people.
Ended up with 80 plus arrests. Still processing it all.
— Captain Norm Leong (@NormLeong) March 5, 2019
Stephon’s murder last year caused outrage across the country after police shot him over 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard. Police say they thought he had a gun on him but it turned out to be a cell phone. According to CBS News, District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert said,
“We must recognize that they are often forced to make split-second decisions and we must recognize that they are under tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances.”
The officers have remained employed.
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