Former Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has reached out to the family of Stephon Clark, offering to cover funeral costs, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Clark was shot and killed on Sunday by Sacramento police, who mistook his iPhone for a gun, while standing in his grandparents’ backyard. Police fired 20 rounds at the 22-year-old.
Clark’s family set up a GoFundMe page earlier this week to rase money to cover funeral costs with a $50,000 goal, which it had already surpassed by Friday afternoon.
Clarks death has sparked numerous protests throughout Sacramento — including one Thursday night ahead of the Kings game against the Atlanta Hawks. That protest, which started at city hall, moved over to the Golden 1 Center shortly before game-time. The protests resulted in the arena being put on lockdown, and delayed the game by 20 minutes.
Fans who did not enter the arena early were turned away for safety reasons. Only about 2,000 fans ended up making it into the arena.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé took the mic after the game, giving a speech with a message of both compassion and healing.
The All-Star center was traded from Sacramento to New Orleans last season after playing more than six seasons with the Kings. He has a large history of outreach in the Sacramento community, too.
Cousins paid for the funeral of Jaulon “JJ” Clavo, a Grant High School football player who was shot before a playoff game in 2015. He has held free basketball camps at Sacramento High School, and even bought a new scoreboard for the school’s gym. Cousins has frequently participated in forums with police in Mobile, Alabama, his hometown, and Sacramento, too.
Cousins also won the inaugural Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award last October for his work in Alabama, New Orleans, Sacramento and South Africa.
Cousins — who is out for the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in January — said he would always consider Sacramento home, vowing to keep his ties to the community.