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Sacramento Residents Speak Out About Police Shooting


It has been more than a week now since Sacramento police shot and killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man in his grandmother's backyard. The local chapter of Black Lives Matter started a protest last night that's expected to last for three days. They say their goal is to start a dialogue on police procedure with police and policymakers. Capital Public Radio's Adhiti Bandlamudi was at the first public forum held by city council, and she sent this report.

ADHITI BANDLAMUDI, BYLINE: As city council members were giving their opening remarks, Stephon Clark's brother, Stevonte, entered the city hall chambers and interrupted the session where the discussion was about police body cameras.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The council then provided the funds necessary to implement the policy...

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Stephon Clark. Stephon Clark. Stephon Clark. Stephon Clark.

BANDLAMUDI: City council members left the room momentarily while the crowd settled down. When the public comment session started, there was criticism over local police tactics and now calls for counseling, especially for schoolchildren.

JACKIE ROSE: Kids are in pain. They are scared to come out their houses. Just before spring break, when this happened, nobody went into those schools to offer trauma, any kind of trauma for those kids who have been suffering. We need that.

BANDLAMUDI: That's Jackie Rose. She's from Meadowview, the same neighborhood Clark was from. She's disheartened because her community had been asking for support long before the shooting. Ishmael Abdulhaq (ph) says every time police officers are in his neighborhood, he inevitably gets arrested - and it adds up.

ISHMAEL ABDULHAQ: Now I got a city job. But every time they come to the area, I got to go to jail and have to post bail for five grand? It's been three times that it's happened.

BANDLAMUDI: The meeting was scheduled to last six hours. But after a second disruption, Mayor Darrell Steinberg ended the meeting early.

DARRELL STEINBERG: It's my job, first and foremost, to be able to guarantee the safety of everyone in here in the plaza. And I'm not confident we can do that, so we're going to adjourn the meeting. And we'll resume until further notice. The meeting's adjourned.

BANDLAMUDI: Protesters moved from City Hall to the Golden 1 Center. The sports arena was put on lockdown for the second time in less than a week, and thousands of fans were kept out of Tuesday's game. For now, the public forum is on hold indefinitely. Clark's funeral is scheduled for Thursday. Reverend Al Sharpton is expected to eulogize for the ceremony. For NPR News, I'm Adhiti Bandlamudi in Sacramento. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.