Scores of Black Lives Matter activists planned to protest in Sacramento on Thursday after the funeral of an unarmed black man who was shot dead by police in the latest such killing to spark street demonstrations in the United States.
More than 100 protesters will gather outside the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office from 3 p.m. local time (1800 ET) to demonstrate over the death of Stephon Clark, according to the Facebook page of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Clark, 22, was gunned down on the night of March 18 in his grandparents’ backyard by police responding to a report that someone was breaking windows. Police said the officers who shot Clark 20 times feared he was holding firearm, but that he only had a cellphone.
His death was the most recent in a string of fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted anger and a renewed national debate about bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights leader, will deliver a eulogy at Clark’s funeral, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time.
On Wednesday evening, activists blocked traffic outside the district attorney’s office before marching to downtown, local media said, causing rush-hour delays.
A day before that, activists disrupted a city council meeting, chanting “Stephon Clark” as his brother Stevonte sat on the table in front of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, according to video broadcast by CBS News.
Twice, the protesters have blocked fans from reaching games played by the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team at the Golden 1 Center.
On Wednesday, the Kings said it will set up an education fund for Clark’s children, as well as a partnership with a local activist group, the Build. Black. Coalition, and the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, to support youth education.
“This fund cannot fix the issues that led to the death of their father, but it will secure opportunities for their futures while the family and the city grapples with healing,” the team said in a statement.
Many of the players wore warm-up shirts honoring Clark prior to Sunday night’s game.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said state investigators will oversee the investigation and review the Police Department’s procedures and practices.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and David Gregorio
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