Black Lives Matter Activist Encourages Sacramento to Elect Progressive Leaders

SACRAMENTO -- A prominent face of the Black Lives Matter movement made a stop in Sacramento Sunday night, calling for residents to push for change in leadership in Sacramento.

"Change is needed." It’s often a campaign slogan candidates turn to. But as Black Lives Matter leader Shaun King explained to those in attendance at Sacramento’s VFW Post 67, it’s often unfulfilled.

"Because our problem is overwhelming our plan. Our problem is overwhelming us in great part because our plan doesn’t fully address the magnitude of the problem," King said.

The problem King came to speak on was about leadership. He discussed how problems like police brutality, which has spent time under a severe spotlight since the shooting of Stephon Clark, are talked about but seemingly never dealt with.

"People aren’t just hurt by that, it accumulates and people are exhausted," King said. "So we are trying to show them there are ways they can make a difference by putting better people who have better policies and principles and putting them in office."

King is a co-founder of Real Justice, which advocates for district attorneys with more progressive platforms to replace the incumbents. Receiving King’s approval were Noah Phillips, who is running for Sacramento County District Attorney, and Milo Fitch, who is running to take the Sacramento County Sheriff seat. Both would be looking to unseat incumbents, DA Anne Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones.

King says he has done plenty of research that shows Schubert has received nearly $500,000 from the Sacramento Police Department since she took office and says that makes it difficult to punish officers if they do something wrong.

"It’s so encouraging to me because I know now that we are giving hope to people who have lost it or never had hope for a change," Fitch said.

It’s change King believes can come through picking Phillips and Fitch at the polls. Change King advocates daily to his large social media following and change he is ready to see fulfilled in Sacramento.

"I’m not anti-cop at all. I have police officers in my own family and many people here have police officers in their family. We are anti-police brutality, we are anti-police corruption and what we are saying is police brutality even makes Sacramento less safe," King said. "It makes people not want to visit Sacramento. It makes businesses not want to set up shop here. Police brutality is bad not just for the family of Stephon Clark, it’s bad for the whole city."

King also pointed out that part of the issue with bringing justice to things like police brutality is that each police and sheriff’s department has their own policies, philosophies and leaders, making it hard to have consistency when pushing for change.