Activists in Sacramento began eight days of protests on Tuesday calling for police to be held accountable in the deaths of Stephon Clark and Brandon Smith, another Black man who died in police custody on June 6, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The protests began at a City Council meeting on Tuesday where activists were hiding signs that read “8 days, 8 shots.”
Two Sacramento cops killed Clark on March 18 in the backyard of the home he shared with his grandparents. He was holding a cellphone at the time.
Ryan McClinton, a community organizer for Sacramento Area Congregations Together, told the Bee that the eight days are meant to represent the eight times police shot Clark.
Smith died of unknown causes after he was taken into custody earlier this month. Police released body camera footage of their altercation with Smith where he can be heard saying that he felt like he was having a heart attack.
“I’m back in here again unfortunately because somebody else died in police custody, Sac PD custody,” Tonya Faison, founder of Sacramento Black Lives Matter, told the City Council. “It’s not even been three months since Stephon was killed. We don’t even have an investigation that’s been completed as far as we know and we have another death on our hands in police custody, Brandon Smith.”
The officers involved in the incident with Smith are “not working on patrol for safety reasons,” a police official told the Bee.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.