SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Black Lives Matter activists spent the day protesting outside of a law enforcement convention downtown. Tuesday night, they showed up to hear from one of the co-founders of the organization.
“Can y’all stand up so we can see you and acknowledge you,” said Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Garza, who happened to be in Sacramento Tuesday evening, acknowledged to a crowd of Sac State students what happened in the city in the last 36 hours.
“Thank you all for being here,” she said to BLM Sacramento leaders. “I know it’s been a long day.”
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, tensions mounted as BLM protesters and law enforcement supporters clashed outside of the Sacramento Convention Center.
“For all those that hate the police, we are a community,” said Joe Perrin, a law enforcement supporter.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk was shot and killed in the line of duty. The protests on Tuesday were planned before that shooting to mark exactly six months since Stephon Clark was killed by police in his grandmother’s backyard.
“How do you guys think I should feel?” said Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother. “They ain’t doin’ nothing!”
His brother Stevante Clark is still looking for police to take responsibility.
“Accountability, not just for the officers and law enforcement, but on the city level, the district attorneys,” Clark said. “What happened to my brother should have never happened.”
Last night, Sheriff Scott Jones called on law enforcement supporters to show up as part of a counter protest. Jason Hall answered the call.
“Law enforcement deserves as much respect and support as anybody else,” he said.
And while Hall agreed with Clark about holding police accountable, he didn’t believe Tuesday was the right day to protest.
“They could have called it off, they should have called it off,” Hall said.
Garda left a message with BLM leaders and Sac State students: maybe the two sides should be protesting for the same thing.
“It is terrible when anyone loses their life and what we are trying to do is build a world where people can grow up to be adults, where people don’t get shot in their backyard and where people don’t get killed in the line of duty,” Garza said.
Six months after Clark’s death, Sacramento Police Department said the investigation into Stephon Clark’s death is still ongoing.