Sacramento Church Mourns ‘a Second Death of Stephon Clark’ After Announcement That Charges Won’t Be Filed

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No photos of Stephon Clark adorned the walls of South Sacramento Christian Center on Sunday morning, and his name may not have come up as often as it did in sermons immediately following his death.

The topic of pastors’ sermons about inequality and healing, though, were clear.

Visiting pastor Ben McBride decried Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s announcement Saturday that she would not pursue charges against police officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet, who shot Clark in his grandmother’s Meadowview backyard after a chase last March. The officers believed Clark, 22, was pointing a gun at them; the item in his hand was later found to be a cell phone.

McBride’s Sunday sermon didn’t express shock, but frustration at what many in the room of about 200 people, most of them African American, saw as an inevitable sidestep of justice for Clark’s death.

Pausing frequently to dab beads of sweat from his temples, McBride delivered a 45-minute sermon emphasizing calls for unity and grievances against oppressive powers. One song alluded to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a black man fatally choked by New York City police while being detained for selling single cigarettes on the sidewalk.

“I hear my neighbor crying, saying ‘I can’t breathe’/now I’m in the struggle, I can’t leave,” the congregation sang along with McBride. “We’re calling out the violence of the racist police/we ain’t going to stop until the people are free.”

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Source: Sacramento Bee