Arden Fair Mall Closed Sunday as Activists Stage Sit-In

SACRAMENTO -- The Arden Fair Mall said it would be closed for the day on Sunday.

The announcement comes as activists staging a sit-in to protest District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's decision not to file criminal charges against the two police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark nearly a year ago.

The sit-in began late Saturday and lasted through the night into Sunday morning.

"We're protesting and causing a disturbance because we still have to fight for equal rights," said organizer Khalil Ferguson. "We still have to fight for civil rights, human rights. It's a shame in 2019."

Arden Fair spokesman Nathan Spradlin said the closure was to prevent protesters gathering "in unsafe numbers within the mall:"

As a part of this community, Arden Fair respected the desires of these individuals to express themselves, but due to the high potential for unsafe numbers to gather today, we have closed the center to groups of any size.

Spraldin said the mall is concerned by the negative economic impact the shutdown could bring.

"We are concerned for the negative impact a closure like this has on the livelihood of thousands of mall employees and on the city’s economy, as 18% of city sales tax revenue come from Arden Fair," he said in an email to FOX40.

Protesters say they hope the financial hit leads to change.

"We wanted to disturb maybe the most lucrative businesses, like Champs, who does high numbers, like Victoria’s Secret, like Apple," Ferguson said. "We did not know it was going to turn into the whole mall shut down, which, of course, is exponentially greater than what we wanted initially. So this is a great feat and we will not stop."

Some of the shoppers who did come to the mall Sunday were disappointed.

"I know why they’re protesting and I think they have a right to protest but I think they could do it at a better place instead of at the mall -- a police station maybe, City Hall, who knows? But I think this isn’t the place to do it," said shopper Dominique Brown. "There's, you know, people want to go shopping. People want to come here with their kids, their families."

Others supported the peaceful protest, calling it a worthy cause.

"If you’re going to do it peacefully that’s fine," said Lorraine Taufa. "I don't believe in violence but if you’re going to do it peacefully then that’s your right."

The Arden Fair Mall will reopen Monday.

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