Black Lives Matter protesters block Sacramento freeway after shooting of unarmed black man
SACRAMENTO (KUSI) — Black Lives Matter protesters blocked the northbound lanes of the I-5 in Sacramento Thursday in the aftermath of a shooting of an unarmed, 22-year-old black man.
Stephon Clark was fatally shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard Sunday night when officers from the Sacramento Police Department mistook the cell phone he was holding for a gun.
According to CNN, the incident began Sunday night around 9 p.m. when police responded to a report that a man was breaking car windows. Witnesses described the man as 6-foot-1, thin and wearing a black hoodie and pants.
CNN reports that officers on scene were aided by a team in the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department helicopter, who spotted a man running and smashing car windows. They were able to guide officers to the man’s location in the backyard of a nearby home.
According to the police statement, officers gave the man commands to stop and show his hands.
After a brief pursuit, officers said the man “turned and advanced toward the officers while holding an object.”
The two officers on scene fired 20 times and hit Clark multiple times.
According to CNN, officers then handcuffed Clark after he collapsed and began lifesaving efforts. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers canvassing the neighborhood found several cars with damage believed to have been caused by Clark.
The two officers involved in the shooting have two and four years’ experience with the Sacramento Police Department, and both have four years’ prior experience with other agencies. The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave amid a use of force investigation, according to CNN.
Clark had recently been released from county jail and was living with his grandmother and his children at the time of the shooting.