SACRAMENTO — If the six-month mark of the death of Stephon Clark proved anything it’s that Sacramento still has more healing to do.
“I think it was a good way to get our voices out there and make sure my brother’s name doesn’t die in vain,” said Clark’s brother, Stevante.
Despite some moments of tension, Stevante Clark says Tuesday’s demonstration outside the Sacramento Convention Center was a show of love for his late brother.
Stevante Clark says he was happy to see support for fallen sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk as well, who was killed in the line of duty Monday.
“The Clark family stands with Mark’s family and all the unarmed teens and black men, everyone who’s been a victim,” Stevante Clark said. “We stand with all the victims. We’re victims as well.”
But make no mistake, half a year later the Clark family is still hurting.
“It’s unbelievable that no one has come to even apologize, even to acknowledge their part in the death of my son. That hurts,” said Se’Quette Clark, Stephon Clark’s mother.
It was a repeat call for justice Wednesday, six months after Rev. Al Sharpton delivered his first on behalf of Stephon Clark as his family laid him to rest.
“They haven’t charged anyone with anything in Sacramento, nothing. And it’s like telling all of us we don’t matter,” Sharpton said.
What still is not clear is when the district attorney’s office will get the case file from a police department now investigating itself.
“I think that as I hear the family talk, and I’ve talked to them since March, they have been patient. They have been the ones to tell everybody that we want Stephon’s name to be associated with justice and peace,” Sharpton said. “But how long is it to investigate something when you have, as the mother said, three agencies? This does not make any sense.”
The timing of the investigation is a hard issue for many in the community.
“I’m thinking maybe they could have done an investigation in three months, you know, maybe 90 days,” said Sacramento resident Brigitte Coston. “But this family is hurting and there are a lot of people that have been going through the same things that are hurting that they need to bring these cops to justice.”
Sacramento Police Sgt. Vance Chandler spoke to FOX40 on Wednesday.
“Our detectives continue to conduct a very thorough and at this time it remains active and ongoing,” Chandler said.
As Stephon Clark’s loved ones continue their push for answers, they say much of their personal pain has been misunderstood in the community. They were hoping for that to change six months in as well.
“You never know what it’s like until it happens to you, you know,” Stevante Clark said. “If it happens to you then maybe your pain could be more validated.”
Stevante Clark hopes his brother would be proud.
“Hope he sees we ain’t going to let it up. We ain’t going to let go or give up,” he told FOX40. “It just hurts, you know. It just hurts.”
He will be meeting with the mayor next week about the youth resource center he’d like to see opened in his brother’s name. In the coming weeks, he will also be holding a public forum about police brutality.
Religious Leaders Call for Unity
"I want us to confront the system that causes us to all be at each other’s throats," said Rev. Kevin Ross with Unity of Sacramento Church.
Ross is looking to take real steps to move Sacramento forward. He and other religious leaders are hosting a "Force for Good Unity Rally" Wednesday night, honoring both victims of police shootings and fallen law enforcement officers.
"We can’t heal each other because we can’t hear each other," Ross told FOX40.
The group acknowledges it will be a tough road to fully address Sacramento's racial and social divides. But in the view of Stephon Clark’s mother, at least now, we’re forced to deal with it.
"I think the progress that’s been made is that it’s in your face now. You can’t hide it anymore," she said.