Conservative Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) lashed out at Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man who was fatally shot by Sacramento police in his backyard.
Allen is seeking the Republican Party nomination in the June 5th primary.
“As governor what would you do to help skeptical Californians, particularly people of color, have more faith in law enforcement?” the candidates were asked.
“Very simply, the man that was unfortunately shot in Sacramento, the reason this whole thing happened is he was breaking into cars. He had smashed a couple of car windows because he was stealing from those cars, apparently,” Assemblyman Allen claimed. “He was then chased by a helicopter and he ran from the police—”
“He was not breaking into cars,” former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa interrupted.
“I’m not sure that investigation has …” Matt Hall, the editorial and opinion page director of The U-T interjected.
“Excuse you?” Allen replied.
“I’m not sure that investigation has concluded to prove he was doing that,” Hall fact-checked. Indeed, the family has disputed such claims.
“To the best of my understanding it is very clear that this individual was breaking into cars. When the police helicopter began to follow him, he then ran from police. When police finally apprehended him, he approached them with something in his hand,” Allen continued. “Listen, number one, this person should not have been breaking into cars and number two he should not have been running from the police.”
“It had nothing to do with the color of his skin. There is no police officer that wakes up in the morning and wants to shoot someone,” Allen claimed. “We must back the badge, respect our law enforcement and understand that there are laws enforced by our police officers in California.”
Read the full transcript of the candidate forum.