The family and community of Sacramento honor the legacy of Stephon Clark, who was killed by police five years ago.

Stephon Clark’s legacy is preserved through determined family members and the Sacramento community on Saturday, the fifth anniversary of his murder by police.

In March 2018, two police officers chased and opened fire on Clark in the backyard of his grandparents’ home in the Meadowview area. The police believed he was holding a gun. Clark, a black man, 22, was unarmed and had a mobile phone in his hand.

A video of the fatal shooting, released by police three days later, stirred the city and sparked condemnation around the world. But there have been legislative changes related to the use of force by the police, including Assembly Bill 392 signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019.

This progress was the focus of Saturday’s rally and march at the Capitol.

“I am encouraged by the fact that in order for Stephon to live forever, we must prevent a repeat of Stephon,” said Clark’s brother, Stevante. “I love my brother and miss him. But one of the big questions is how to keep his legacy in a positive light. I never want my brother to die.”

In the days following the shooting, Stevante Clark became the visible and emotional leader of the protests. The image of Stevante Clark, seated on the mayor’s platform during one of the City Council meetings, finding a seat after running away from the House seats remains one of the most memorable moments.

He also became a strong advocate for police reform, helping to push through AB 392, one of the nation’s toughest laws governing the use of lethal force by the police.

Stevante Clark says the work is not done yet, especially regarding his brother.

In 2019, the results of a federal civil rights investigation, the State Attorney General’s Office, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and an internal investigation into Clark’s fatal murder ended with the investigation finding that the officers were not criminally responsible for the Sacramento man’s death, exonerating Terrence’s officers. Mercadal and Jared Robins on wrongdoing. According to police, both remain employees of the city.

The story goes on

“Five years later, we are tired of being tired and weary,” said Stevante Clark. “Five years later, we still want justice. Five years later, the police must know the difference between a gun and a cell phone. … Five years later, 10 years later, 20 years later and 100 years later, I will continue to fight for my brother until we achieve justice and accountability, not at some levels, but at all levels.”

Saturday’s rally was a continuation of “Heritage Week” dedicated to the memory of Clarke and the families who have also been affected by law enforcement brutality. The events kicked off on Wednesday with a dinner and fundraiser. This was followed by a caravan “ride” through the Meadowview area on Thursday and a party on Friday.

The campaign will conclude on Sunday with a brunch that will bring together mothers who have experienced the loss of a child.

Sekett Clark, Stephon Clark’s mother, leads the brunch. She said the brunch was in line with the mission of the I Am SAC foundation, founded by the Clark family on behalf of Stephon.

“They may feel okay because everyone around them knows what they’re going through,” Seckett Clarke said.

She also called the events a series of “mixed emotions”.

“Heritage Week is important to the community and other affected families, but for me, it highlights the fact that my son is dead,” Seckett Clarke said.

Protests following Clarke’s death

In 2018, hundreds of protesters and community and religious leaders took to the streets, parks, and steps of the Sacramento Capitol; its neighborhoods, shopping malls, and the Sacramento City Council chambers well.

Demonstrators snapped on freeways and downtown traffic jams; forced the newly opened Golden 1 Center to close and rallied at the G Street offices of then-Sacramento County District Attorney Anna Marie Schubert to demand answers, justice, accountability, and ultimately radical police reform after what was then the latest deadly confrontation. between the negro and the police.

Widespread riots and angry protests will continue throughout this year and next.

One demonstration in East Sacramento’s bright, predominantly white Fab 40s neighborhood in March 2019 will be one of the most intense. The largely peaceful protest was drawing to a close when Sacramento police and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies dressed in riot gear abruptly halted the demonstrations and herded dozens of protesters onto the 51st Street flyover.

A total of 84 people were detained, including ministers and legal monitors, Sacramento State journalism students, and reporters from the Sacramento Business Journal and Sacramento Bee.

The actions of the police were widely condemned, the mayor of the city demanded answers, the chief of police promised to investigate. The protesters were never charged.

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