Religious Leaders Call for ‘End to Terror’ in Wake of Stephon Clark’s Death

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SACRAMENTO -- The chanting and marching continued in one part of Sacramento as an interfaith town hall took place in another all in the name of Stephon Clark.

"Black people have historically been policed by a different standard of policing than other people in this country," said Nailah El-Amin of Sacramento Area Congregations Together.

The police shooting death of the young Sacramento father sparked the emergency meeting at Salam Islamic Center, where religious leaders called to end violence against the black community.

During the meeting, the group made an emotional plea to remember Clark as the victim rather than vilify him.

"If you can cast enough suspicion around his character, and make him evil enough and make him not worth the struggle then maybe people will just say, 'Well he had it coming,'" said Sheikh Omar Suleiman.

Clark's family was in the audience as were his two little boys. One was running and playing outside, not knowing yet the magnitude of his father's death and the change many hope will come from it.

The keynote speaker was an imam who has been nationally recognized for his work in social justice.

"I'm hopeful that if we begin to see each other as human beings then maybe we will recognize how flawed our country is domestically and with our foreign policy," Suleiman said. "I'm hopeful that we will start to question how our government has been operating here and abroad."

That hope Suleiman has is the same hope many across the city have in their effort to make a difference in the name of Clark.

"I'm hopeful that if we're angry enough and organized enough then maybe we can begin to put an end to this terror," Suleiman said.

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