The Rev. Al Sharpton vowed on Thursday not to let the country “forget the name of Stephon Clark,” an unarmed black man who was shot to death by police in Sacramento.
“We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice,” Sharpton said at a memorial service for Clark, according to the Associated Press. “This is about justice. This is about standing with people with courage.”
Clark, 22, was shot and killed on March 18 during a confrontation with Sacramento police in the backyard of his grandmother’s home, where he was staying.
Police said that they feared that Clark had a gun and opened fire. In fact, Clark was not armed, and had only an iPhone in his hand.
The shooting touched off protests across the country and reignited public anger over law enforcement’s treatment of minorities.
Speaking at Clark’s funeral on Thursday, Sharpton said it was time to “stop this madness,” calling for an end to fatal police shootings of minorities.
On Tuesday, the California attorney general’s office announced it would be providing “independent oversight” in authorities’ investigation into Clark’s death.
The next day, the White House said there are no plans for a federal inquiry, with spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling the slaying a “local matter and something we feel should be left up to local authorities.”
“No, this is not a local matter,” Sharpton said, according to The Washington Post. “They’ve been killing young black men all over the country.”
SOURCE: The Hill – Max Greenwood