SACRAMENTO — Protesters took to the streets Friday night to demand justice after the results of Stephon Clark’s independent autopsy report were released.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose study of a degenerative brain condition in football players prompted the NFL to adopt new safety rules designed to prevent concussions, determined Clark took up to 10 minutes to die.
Police officers, concerned Clark could be alive and armed, waited about five minutes to approach him after the shooting in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18. Clark was not armed; police apparently mistook a cellphone in his hand for a gun.
Clark received one bullet to the back of his neck, one to his left side towards his back, a cluster of six bullets entered into his back on the right side and one to his left thigh on the front.
Protesters say the autopsy result contradicts the what the Sacramento Police Department told the public.
Their protest began at 8 p.m. at City Hall and migrated through different parts of Downtown and Old Sacramento.
Throughout the night, protests blocked parts of J and I streets. Some protesters also made their way into businesses like Bennigan’s and the Kipton Sawyer Hotel.
Police handcuffed shut doors at the hotel to stop protesters from entering.
Capital Public Radio reports protesters had a brief confrontation with police outside the hotel. The scuffle came during the fourth hour protests.
The protest has largely remained peaceful, with leaders of Black Lives Matter Sacramento helping diffuse tensions. Protesters and the police had a brief standoff near a ramp onto the interstate before protesters went a different direction.
Another rally is planned for Saturday afternoon, hours before a Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors game will bring thousands of fans to the downtown arena that protesters have twice blocked.
The protest conluded around 12:40 a.m. after protesters returned to City Hall.