A dramatic day of protest Thursday over the shooting of a young unarmed black man began at Sacramento City Hall, shut down Interstate 5 during rush hour and culminated with hundreds of protesters surrounding Golden 1 Center and blocking most ticket holders from entering the downtown arena for a Sacramento Kings game.
In the end, there were no arrests and, aside from a few scuffles, little violence.
“This is an epic day for black Sacramento,” said Brrazey Liberty, a musician and activist with Black Lives Matter. “We feel like we had a victory today. Today was ours.”
The demonstrators were protesting Sunday’s fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark, 22, who was holding only a cellphone when two Sacramento police officers fired 20 rounds at him in the backyard of his grandparents’ home. The officers believed Clark was a burglary suspect who was armed, authorities said.
The demonstration began near City Hall around 3 p.m. Protesters entered the building chanting “Face the people!” and moved back outside onto I Street before making their way to the freeway. They stood in front of a big rig and other vehicles chanting, “Don’t shoot. It’s a cellphone!” They also started yelling, “We don’t want you,” as a California Highway Patrol helicopter flew overhead.