March 28 (UPI) — Hundreds of protesters disrupted a meeting of the Sacramento City Council Tuesday night to address the shooting death of an unarmed black man by police.
Shouting the name “Stephon Clark,” upset residents poured into city hall chambers expressing outrage about the killing of the 22-year-old who died March 18 after being shot in his grandmother’s yard.
Two officers, who were responding to a call about a car vandal, fired at Clark 20 times as he stood in the yard. They said they thought the cellphone he was holding was a weapon.
A video of the shooting, released by police, prompted a week of protests including hundreds of protesters blocking the doors of Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center arena as thousands of fans tried to enter an NBA game there.
As protesters spoke, they urged for the firing and prosecution of the police officers involved.
The officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
At one point Tuesday night, the victim’s brother, Stevante Clark, jumped on top of the platform in front of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and chanted his brother’s name. He then directed the crowd to do the same and to hold their cellphones toward council members.
“Does this look like a gun?” he asked.
Steinberg adjourned the meeting 2 and-a-half hours early out of concern for attendees’ safety.
“Out of respect for the family we will not reconvene tomorrow but are committed to ensuring you are heard and we will share information for future meetings as it becomes available,” he tweeted.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will hold an independent investigation into the incident.