Sacramento Kings players call for accountability in police shooting death of Stephon Clark

Last Thursday, Black Lives Matter activists linked arms and prevented entry into Golden 1 Center during their matchup with the Atlanta Hawks to protest the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark by the Sacramento Police. But now Kings’ players have decided to take a stand in solidarity.

ABC News reported that on Sunday, the Sacramento players took their home court during their game against the Boston Celtics wearing t-shirts calling for accountability for the death of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

Call for justice

“ACCOUNTABILITY. WE ARE ONE,” reads the front of the shirt, with “#StephonClark” clearly printed on the back.

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We must unite. #StephonClark

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The move appears to have been supported by the NBA establishment, as a photo of the shirt — worn by Kings point guard Garrett Temple — appeared on their official Instagram account.

In addition, during the first-quarter timeout, a joint PSA by the Kings and the Celtics played over the Golden1 Center jumbotron. 

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NBA teams honor Stephon Clark
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NBA teams honor Stephon Clark
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Vince Carter (15) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) is introduced before the start of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Members of the Boston Celtics stand on the court during a timeout against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts on the bench in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Members of the Boston Celtics sit on the bench during a timeout against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts on the bench in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) is introduced before the start of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown (7) is introduced before the start of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Vince Carter (15) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center. Players from both teams wore t-shirts during warmups in honor of Stephon Clark, a Sacramento native who was recently shot and killed by Sacramento police. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson (25) and teammates wear T-shirts bearing the name of Stephon Clark during a game at Golden 1 Center on Sunday March 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings and Celtics wore shirts bearing the name of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, who was killed by Sacramento police. The black warm-up shirts have 'Accountability. We are One' on the front and 'Stephon Clark' on the back. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings players bow their heads as they wear T-shirts bearing the name of Stephon Clark during a game at Golden 1 Center on Sunday March 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings and Celtics wore shirts bearing the name of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, who was killed by Sacramento police. The black warm-up shirts have 'Accountability. We are One' on the front and 'Stephon Clark' on the back. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson (25) wears a T-shirt bearing the name of Stephon Clark during a game at Golden 1 Center on Sunday March 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings and Celtics wore shirts bearing the name of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, who was killed by Sacramento police. The black warm-up shirts have 'Accountability. We are One' on the front and 'Stephon Clark' on the back. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (8) and teammates wear T-shirts bearing the name of Stephon Clark during a game at Golden 1 Center on Sunday March 25, 2018 in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings and Celtics wore shirts bearing the name of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, who was killed by Sacramento police. The black warm-up shirts have 'Accountability. We are One' on the front and 'Stephon Clark' on the back. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
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In the public statement, several players reportedly varied in their messages. Some included, “These tragedies have to stop,” “There must be accountability,” “We will not stick to sports,” and “We will not shut up and dribble.”

The latter two were direct messages to conservative Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham who told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” earlier this month in response to his comments about racial matters in America.

READ MORE: Sacramento BLM activists mourn Stephon Clark’s death

The video was also uploaded to the Kings’ Twitter account.

On Thursday following the protest that perhaps sparked the public response about Clark from the organization, the team said the following on the incident:

On Sunday we had a horrific, horrific tragedy in our community.We at the Kings recognize people’s ability to protest peacefully and we respect that. We here at the Kings recognize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. And we stand here before you — old, young, black, white, brown — and we are all united in our commitment,” said Ranadivé.

The Kings owner went on to convey a sense of optimism for the future. “We recognize that it’s not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting with our own community, and we’re going to work really hard to prevent this kind of a tragedy from happening again.”

It has also been reported that DeMarcus Cousins, former Sacramento Kings power forward, reached out to Clark’s family and offered to pay for all funeral expenses. 

25 PHOTOS
Fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark
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Fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark

 Stephon Clark, 22, was killed in a fatal officer involved shooting in California in March 2018.

(Photo: GoFundMe)

Police helicopter and body camera footage was released of the shooting.


(Photo: Sacramento Police Dept.)

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 26: Sequita Thompson, (L) grandmother of Stephon Clark who was shot and killed by Sacramento police, cries as she speaks during a news conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump (R) on March 26, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, have hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the Clark family in a wrongful death suit against the Sacramento police department. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Police helicopter and body camera footage was released of the shooting.

(Photo: Sacramento Police Dept.)
Candles light a sidewalk memorial to Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
The house where police shooting victim Stephon Clark was slain is seen in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 26: A woman cries as civil rights attorney Ben Crump speaks during a news conference at Sacramento City Hall on March 26, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, has hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the Clark family in a wrongful death suit against the Sacramento police department. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A sign is seen painted on the window of a car during a protest over the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Demonstrators gather to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 26: Tanya Faison (L) with Black Lives Matter of Sacramento yells at a man who had confronted her before the start of a news conference with Civil rights attorney Ben Crump at Sacramento City Hall on March 26, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, have hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the Clark family in a wrongful death suit against the Sacramento police department. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 26: Sequita Thompson, (C) grandmother of Stephon Clark who was shot and killed by Sacramento police, cries during a news conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump on March 26, 2018 in Sacramento, California. The family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers, have hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent the Clark family in a wrongful death suit against the Sacramento police department. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Deonnah Conway holds candles during a protest over the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Tami Collins, shows a placard protesting the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police, during a demonstration in Sacramento, California, U.S., March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Sharon Bernstein
The house where police shooting victim Stephon Clark was slain is seen in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Jayden Sherman (R) and David Massey hold candles during a vigil to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Mar 22, 2018; Sacramento, CA, USA; A young demonstrator holds a photo of Stephon Clark to the glass of the doors to Golden 1 Center as protestors block the entrance to the arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Demonstrators gather to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Demonstrators hold candles during a vigil to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
Demonstrators hold candles during a vigil to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S. March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bob Strong
In Sacramento, police shot at an unarmed black man 20 times, killing him, when he turned out to be holding only a c… https://t.co/HTOLq5BVwP
On Sunday night, Sacramento Police Officers shot and killed Stephon Clark after firing 20 rounds while he was unarm… https://t.co/EynGnsuxrx
Father of two, Stephon Clark, was fatally shot in his backyard by Sacramento police on Sunday night. Police thought… https://t.co/HlfBchf2R2
#StephonClark was fatally shot by Sacramento police in his own backyard, carrying a cell phone that was mistaken fo… https://t.co/d2dYgNRQkX
Unarmed African American man fatally shot by Sacramento Police. He had a cell phone, they shot at him 20 times:… https://t.co/KfR61x8rhm
20 times. After first saying #StephonClark had a gun, then changing it to a crowbar, then admitting he just had a… https://t.co/xu4K0if3jv
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7 things you should know about the Stephon Clark case

1. The Sacramento police department has a troubled history.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Sacramento police have killed at least 16 people in confrontation with authorities since 2016. Some were reportedly armed with guns, while others are said to have had knives and three were unarmed. The officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.

2. Police claim they thought Stephon Clark had a weapon.

Officers claim that they encountered Clark while looking for a suspect who was breaking car windows. The two police officers on the scene say they thought Clark was holding a “toolbar/crowbar” when they approached him in his grandparents back yard. Clark was merely holding his cellphone.

READ MORE: Sharpton pledges on show to attend Stephon Clark’s funeral

3. Police videos show one command and then a hail of bullets.

Sacramento Police released two audio and three video recordings from the shooting Wednesday night, according to the Bee. The only command given by one officer in the video to Stephon Clark is, “Put your hands up, gun!” What follows is the sound of a barrage of 20 shots with each officer reportedly firing 10 times.

4. Police officers muted their body cameras after the shooting.

Stephon Clark was pronounced dead at the scene after cops shot him in a barrage of 20 bullets. Six minutes after the fatal shooting, one officer can be heard telling another, “hey, mute,” referring to his body camera. At that time, both officers apparently muted their body camera microphones for the remainder of the video.

5. Stephon Clark was just trying to get inside his home.

The Bee reports, “It was normal for Clark and others to enter the home through the backyard because the front doorbell doesn’t work and she and her husband, who is in a wheelchair, have poor mobility. People would knock on the back window and ask her to use an automatic opener to raise the garage door to admit them.”

“The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground,” said Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, detailing the four shots she says she heard loud and clear.

“I opened that curtain and he was dead,” said Thompson. “I started screaming.”

READ MORE: On heels of shooting Sacramento police blasted with sexual misconduct allegation

6. The police officers involved had relatively little experience.

According to the New York Times, the officers who fired their weapons have been with the department for two and four years and also had several years of experience in other departments. They were placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by district and city attorneys and the Office of Public Safety Accountability.

7. Protests and support for the family are planned.

Last Monday night, Black Lives Matter activists led more than 100 people, including family members, in a vigil and protest. Another protest is planned for 3:00 today.

The family started a GoFundMe campaign that has already raised more than $30,000 toward that goal.

The campaign is raising money to bury Stephon Clark next to his brother who also died due to gun violence

The post Sacramento Kings players call for accountability in police shooting death of Stephon Clark appeared first on theGrio.

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