By Shirin Rajaee

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento’s faith community coming together Wednesday night to address the public’s concerns over the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

An interfaith town hall meeting was hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Hundreds packed the Salam Islamic Center at a time when many in Sacramento are hurting, and want their voices heard.

“Stephon Clark made the news, but there are so many black men who die at the hands of police every day, but they don’t get hashtags,” said American Muslim scholar Sheikh Omar Suleiman.

Suleiman of Texas, who works closely on issues of social injustice, made his way to Sacramento for the emergency town hall.

“This is a conversation that needs to be sustained until there is significant change in policy until there’s a level of accountability so that these things don’t keep happening,” said Imam Suleiman.

The shooting death of 22-year-old Stephon Clark has triggered nearly daily protests in Sacramento, and at times those tensions have boiled to the surface.

“It’s important for the country to understand this isn’t something that’s going away,” he said.

Cair hosted the packed discussion alongside leaders of other faith groups with hopes of bringing unity and healing.

“We have a historic opportunity right now to address accountability, to address justice,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of CAIR in Sacramento.

Many who were among the crowds of protestors at city hall Tuesday night, were at the town hall looking for ways to channel their emotions into action.

“This is not an isolated incident, there’s a pattern here, and that needs to be addressed,” said Alicia Dienst.

“I want to see people rising up as one, I want to walk around without fear of someone harassing me or even killing me,” said 15-year-old Abdul Bari-Alkhier.

A city in mourning, on the eve of Stephon Clark’s funeral. His family sat among the crowd all praying and hoping for justice.

“We ’re all in this together, we’re gonna make a difference together,” said Elkarra.

Imam Suleiman will be one of the speakers at Thursday morning’s funeral service in Sacramento.


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