Stephon Clark is shot down 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard, unarmed
22. Unarmed. Black.
Shot 20 times by law enforcement this past Sunday evening in Sacramento.
In his own backyard.
Police Officers stated that they “feared for their life”.
They mistook his cell phone for a “crow bar”.”
This is the newsflash of the tragic event that occurred on Sunday, March 18th. It has surfaced across all media platforms, particularly social media.
Clark was in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento, CA when he was fatally shot, by police officers who assumed he was armed. He had been chased into the backyard, having been accused of breaking car windows. The cops then demanded Clark to show his hands, and thought that he was pointing a gun at them. In contrary, all that was found on him was a cellphone. Nonetheless, innocent Stephon Clark was repeatedly shot at, by multiple officers, for a total of 20 times. Even after his incapacitation, the officers continued to handcuff him, and thereafter attempted to save his life. Sadly, he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Prayers are going out to his family.
It is all too familiar. An innocent African-American is found dead at the hands of an incompetent police officer. Then, we are given the background details of the victim, which always portray the side of him that is intended to justify the horrendous act that occurred. For Clark, it was very hard to find articles and news that talked of his role as a loving husband and father. Instead, it is outrightly stated that he did indeed break into several cars, and has been arrested several times before. But does that mean he deserved to die? Does that mean that he loses the same rights that his white counterparts possess? Does that mean that he is automatically assumed to be “violent?” It goes all over social media and news sites for about a week. Before we know it, Stephon Clark will be just a name again.
Hopefully, this time it will be different. There were several protests held immediately after his murder in Sacramento, and this is for sure a progressive step forward. Furthermore, today, March 24th, marks an important day in Americas’ history. Millions of people all over the United States, and also around the world, are marching following a huge wave of activism regarding gun control. The tragic mass shooting in Parkland has sparked the national, and now global, conversation on guns and their destructive role in society.
Obviously, people are clearly aware that race and prejudice play a big role in the unlawful acts that have occurred between police and innocent victims. This is something that is a pressing, and continuing issue within our society, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away. Even after hundreds to thousands of demonstrations and protests, racial-profiling is still extremely prominent.
However, surprisingly, the lack of acknowledgment between gun control and police brutality is astonishing. It has been confirmed that in countries in which there are stricter gun laws, there are a lot fewer incidences of police brutality. The United States in itself has a tremendously higher count of people killed by police per year, unarmed and armed, than countries that have strict gun laws, like Australia, have within a whole decade. See the problem?
That is why the protests currently ensuing now is related to Clarke’s tragic shooting. This will, hopefully, allow for his death to spark an even bigger passion for the movement, and show the government that this problem is real and prevalent. He did not die in vain, and he should be a catalyst for more movements toward a better society.
If you’re still saying we don’t have a problem in this country, you are, without a doubt, a part of the problem. It is time to acknowledge the question: How many more lives can be taken away before we realize enough is enough? “No more Silence-Stop gun Violence.”
Featured Image via Wikimedia