Ademand for justice as a hurting family, and community seek to regroup, rebuild
Stevante Clark, the brother of police shooting victim, Stephon Clark, talks to the media after his brother’s funeral, March 29, in Sacramento, Calif. Stephon Clark, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, March 18.
Stephon Clark’s family is struggling to cope amid threats received by his grandmother, Sequita Thompson, and as his family has called for a federal investigation and increased numbers of Black officers in the city of Sacramento, California.
BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD – NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT
“Grandma got a letter to the house that was saying some negative things about Stephon, and said that she felt threatened,” family attorney Benjamin Crump told The Final Call in a telephone interview April 6.
“She received a hate threat, ‘Ya’ll need to shut up. Ya’ll know he was this. Ya’ll know he was that,’ ” the attorney stated. These threats aren’t taken lightly and the letter was sent to the FBI, he said.
The Fruit of Islam, men of the Nation of Islam, have been securing the family, said Atty. Crump. Stephon Clark was shot to death in March by Sacramento police officers reportedly responding to a call of car vandalism.
Two officers, one Black and the other White, shot the young father of two to death in his grandmother’s backyard.
The police version of what happened has changed. Initially, the story was Stephon had a bar of some kind in his hand and then the story was police thought he had a gun. Only a cell phone was found at the scene of his death from multiple gunshot wounds. Police officers also turn off the audio of their body cameras at one point following the shooting.
Ms. Thompson expressed gratitude for the protection and outpouring of love her family has received. “Prayer,” she said, “and also they came over to make sure our family has eaten and they have just done so much for us to help support us.” She cannot drive, but she has been driven to handle errands and doctor’s visits.
She also wants everyone to know there is a demand for justice in her grandson’s death. “This needs to turn around! It needs to turn around for not just us, but for all the mothers and grandmothers and fathers, everyone who has been going through this, officers doing this,” said the grandmother.
“They (police) need more training, for one thing. And they’re just not out to kill! You just don’t shoot no one,” Ms. Thompson lamented.