Candlelight Vigil, Anti-Police Protests In Sacramento Turn Destructive

Protesters jumped on police cars, tried to block the highway.

Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images

A candlelight vigil for Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man fatally shot by police who mistook Clark's cell phone for a weapon, turned violent as protesters, on their way back home from the event, "jumped and pounded on" parked police cars.

According to The Sacramento Bee, what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration of community cohesion quickly turned into an anti-police rally, as vigil attendees and "angry protesters" "scream[ed] into the officers' faces for a half-hour."

The police eventually retreated and formed a line, protecting both themselves and demonstrators. More peaceful protesters managed to take control of their peers, diffusing the situation and turning the vigil into a protest march.

Police eventually had to intervene a second time, after some of the rowdier demonstrators veered away from the crowd and tried to walk up a freeway on-ramp, intending to block traffic on the freeway.

Stephon Clark was shot last week near his home in Sacramento. Police say they were looking for a man who matched Clark's description that neighbors had reported for a series of car break-ins and noticed Clark with what they thought was a gun in his hand; it turned out to be a cell phone.

Police, however, didn't discover the phone until they'd already used deadly force.

Sacramento police have released body-cam and helicopter footage of the shooting, but community members say that's not enough and want police to admit to having made a mistake killing Clark. Sacramento police say they're investigating.

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