#StephonClark: Sacramento Considers Banning Items From Protests in the Wake of DA’s Impending Decision

A protester holds a photo of Stephon Clark during a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside of Sacramento City Hall on March 22, 2018 in Sacramento, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Ten months ago on March 18, 2018, two police officers with the Sacramento Police Department fired a total of 20 shots—10 shots each—eight of which struck 22-year-old Stephon Clark and killed him in his grandparents backyard.

In that time, activists with the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter have been calling for justice. They want District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to press criminal charges against the two officers—Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet.

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The Sacramento Police Department completed its investigation into the shooting in October, and turned its findings over to the DA’s office. All that remains now is a decision, and it is the tension leading up to the reveal of that decision that is prompting city leaders to consider an ordinance that would ban items from protests that could be used as weapons.

According to the Sacramento Bee, that list of items includes knives, firearms, glass bottles, baseball bats, projectile launchers, pepper spray, bricks, rocks, pieces of asphalt, and other items. The ordinance would be in line with similar ones adopted by California cities such as Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and Beverly Hills.

The Sacramento City Council is set to vote on the ordinance at its meeting Tuesday evening, and if passed, it would go into effect immediately.

It’s sad to say, but if they are taking all these preemptive measures to stave off violence, that doesn’t bode well for a positive outcome from the DA’s office.

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If you are anticipating people being angry—specifically the black activists who have thus far protested peacefully since Clark’s death—then you are likely anticipating the officers won’t face any criminal charges for killing him.

And that is actually the bigger and more important story.

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.