Bay Area Students Join in Fight to Change Police Use of Deadly Force Laws

SACRAMENTO -- Hundreds of students from the Bay Area were at the State Capitol Thursday, calling for an end to gun violence.

It's a cause dozens of Sacramento community activists say should also extend to gun violence brought on by police officers.

On Thursday, both groups met on the Capitol's west steps, holding a rally calling for change and to support Assembly Bill 392, better known as the use-of-force bill.

"It's very important to me that all conversations surrounding my son are grounded in what’s most important -- justice and accountability," said Stephon Clark's mother, SeQuette.

Clark’s mother was one of hundreds who came out to support legislation that would change the use of deadly force laws for police in California.

"If we are to achieve justice for Stephon Clark and the Clark family, we must stay focused on the relevant facts of the case. He was executed for an alleged misdemeanor charge," SeQuette Clark said.

Originally marching the seven or so blocks from Crocker Park to the State Capitol building, a couple dozen protesters began the rally by chanting for justice for Clark, a goal they say AB 392 will help them accomplish.

"There are so many lives that have been taken senselessly," said Jamilia Land with California Families United 4 Justice. "And we in the state of California, as touted as we are to be such a liberal and progressive state, we have some of the highest numbers of police murder in the country."

Once the group was at the Capitol, around 200 students with Bay Area Student Activists, or BAStA, joined them. BAStA members are meeting with lawmakers, lobbying for better gun control laws, an issue they believe should include police officers.

"I think that our police are not being accountable and being held accountable for a lot of the actions they are taking, like shooting teenagers and innocent people who shouldn’t otherwise be killed and shot," said Ivan Garcia from Oakland.

"Often times police murder is not talked about as gun violence, which it should be," Land said.

"Because of the irresponsible actions of the DA and the DOJ we have chosen to take justice into our own hands," SeQuette Clark said.

Students told FOX40 they met Thursday with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Their trip coincides with the first anniversary of the March for Our Lives student walkouts, which came in the wake of the Parkland shooting in Florida last year.

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