Impassioned crowds rallied in Sacramento on Saturday after a doctor’s independent autopsy said police officers shot Stephon Clark six times in the back.
The 22-year-old father of two’s death has sparked a wave of protests, with many calling for justice against the police officers who shot the unarmed black man in his grandparents’ backyard last week. Saturday’s rally, dubbed the Rally for Unity and Action, attracted hundreds and was led by recently retired former Sacramento Kings player Matt Barnes, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Protesters marched through the streets of the California capital on Saturday, and Barnes took the podium to speak before gathered crowds.
Famed CTE researcher Dr. Bennet Omalu performed an independent autopsy on Clark’s body. Omalu said on Friday, a day after Clark’s funeral, that he was struck by eight bullets, six of which hit him in the back. Police, by contrast, had said Clark was approaching officers when he was shot.
In a statement, Sacramento Mayor Darrel Steinberg urged members of the public to withhold judgment until the investigation is complete, the Times reports.
“We have an obligation to everyone involved, including the family of Stephon Clark, to wait for the full findings and results from the official autopsy and investigation,” Steinberg said. “As the mayor of our city, I assure the community and the public that we will aggressively seek answers to all of the questions the community is rightfully asking.”
Circumstances around the shooting remain murky. Body camera footage does not clearly show the moments before Clark was shot, but police can be heard shouting, “Gun! Gun! Gun!” Only a cell phone was recovered at the scene.