Daily News Roundup – April 2, 2018

Sacramento Police Department Releases Video of Police Shooting Last Week

Amidst a slew of protests and growing public tension, the Sacramento Police Department has released video footage from a bodycam on an officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in his own backyard last weekend. The victim, Stephon Clark, was being pursued by authorities for committing a non-violent crime, that ultimately led to his death in his own back yard.

“Show me your hands! Gun!” followed shortly by “Show me your hands! Gun, gun, gun!” by one of the officers in the video just before he and his partner unleashed fury with a total of 20 rounds fired. As the haze of gray smoke swirled in the air, and the gunfire had subsided, one officer shouts “He’s down.”

However, no gun was found on the victim. “The only item found near the suspect was a cellphone,” said the Police Department in a public statement.

* Video courtesy of The Washington Post

Although the police department has not officially released the name of the man shot and killed, the surrounding community has identified him as Stephon Clark. The community has criticized the department, claiming the real danger was the police officers rather than Clark himself. The backlash in the community around Sacramento led to protesters blocking streets, even closing down Interstate 5 for some time. Ultimately, demonstrators blocked access to the Golden 1 Center, where the Sacramento Kings were set to play an NBA game, but prevented many fans from entering.

Public figures have come forward to condemn the acts of the officers, while others express understanding for the community’s anger, but encouraged peace rather than calamity. “I urge our community to remain peaceful, to respect one another, to try and be extra kind to each other,”, Steinberg said. “Let us channel our anguish into healing and to justice.”

San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People outright condemned the shooting, where the NAACP released a statement saying that they respect the role of the police, but shootings like the latest one have angered, frustrated and frightened the community. “We are also frustrated with the justice system, which fails to indict such killings. We are a community experiencing post-traumatic stress.”