More than 80 people were arrested in Sacramento, California, on Monday during a protest over Stephon Clark’s death. A reporter on assignment and several members of the clergy were also detained.
Clark, a 22-year-old black man, was shot dead by two Sacramento police officers last March. He was unarmed but the officers said they mistook his cellphone for a weapon. Prosecutors announced over the weekend that the two officers would not face criminal charges for Clark’s death — a decision that sparked protests across the city.
On Monday evening, dozens of demonstrators took to the streets in East Sacramento. “Whose street? Our street! The people united will never be divided!” the protesters shouted as they marched through the area.
Police in riot gear lined the streets and reporters at the scene said tensions were palpable between the officers and the people demonstrating.
About two and half hours into the protest, police told demonstrators to disperse, the Associated Press reported. Officers gave at least 10 dispersal orders, police later said.
At least 84 people were arrested, most for failing to disperse, according to KTXL-TV.
A Sacramento Bee reporter, Dale Kasler, was also detained by police. Kasler said he showed his press credentials to the officers and explained he was on assignment but was told that “when doing mass detention … everybody goes.”
Photos show Kasler’s hands twist-tied behind his back as he was led away. The reporter was released after being held for about an hour.
At least three members of the clergy, including Pastor Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center and human rights activist Rev. Shane Harris, were also detained.
At the time of writing, several protesters remain in police custody, the Bee reported.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a statement that he was “very disappointed” that the protest had “ended the way it did.”
“I have many questions about what went on that precipitated the order to disperse and the subsequent arrests,” he said, adding that “no member of the press should be detained for doing their job.”