If you live in the Sacramento area or California for that matter, unless you are living under a rock or in a cave, there is no way I can understand you not knowing about the murder of unarmed #StephonClark on March 18, 2018, by two Sacramento Police officers who emptied both of their clips while shooting in his direction. On the night in question in the 9pm hour, officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal with the assistance of a Sacramento Sheriff helicopter above were led into the backyard where Stephon was attempting to gain entry into his grandparent’s home. Without going into all of the horrid details of that night, one thing is for sure…..by design JUSTICE continues to evade Black people in America. There are too many glaringly similarities in Stephon’s death to the more recent murder of Mike Brown by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri and even the distant murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi…..all of whose deaths are classic LYNCHING by definition.
According to Wikipedia….. “LYNCHING is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor or to intimidate a group (typically Black people). LYNCHING is the practice of murder by a group of people by extrajudicial actions. LYNCHINGS in the United States rose in number after the American Civil War in the late 1800s, following the emancipation of slaves, they declined in the 1920s but have continued to take place into the 20th century. LYNCHING served the broad social purpose of maintaining white supremacy in the economic, social and political spheres.”
“Everyday when I wake up, my son was murdered yesterday.”
Stephon Clark was executed by the Sacramento Police Department, only to have his character assassinated by the very District Attorney who should have brought his family justice. There can be no peace where such callousness lives. There can be no peace when the city’s anti-blackness suffocates even the hope for accountability. BLM Sacramento stands with the Clark family and will continue to mobilize against the Sacramento law enforcement agencies that killed him and the city officials that allowed them to do it.
The city of Sacramento’s governing officials had a chance to turn the pain that was inflicted upon our people by police terror into power and healing, however the city chose to fold. Instead of seeking accountability for this atrocity by the aggressors there was constant blame being placed on the people. I’ve seen it all in the comment sections of our local news stations: Stephon shouldn’t have ran, he should have complied, he should have been home with his kids, maybe if he would have done this, that or the other or he should have been raised better because I raised my kids to listen & never question authority, he deserved what he got, etc.
Rage is valid and necessary. The expression of rage is often a release. It is a release of toxins and trauma from our bodies. The bodies of Black Folxs have been brutalized for so long, so many times and in so many vicious ways that the resulting trauma has been proven to be codified in our DNA. Despite all this, just in case y'all forgot or was confused, the bodies and souls of Black Folxs are exquisite. But the rage remains. The rage that we have is sacred. In fact, if as a Black person you've never fully expressed rage you are not really alive and you are definitely not free. Y'all know we is free, right?! The ancestors I'ma be talking bout knew they were free when they rose up and ran through the flesh of their oppressors with machetes. They knew they were free in their bodies and souls. They knew that their spirits could not be contained or controlled. They refused to grovel for their freedom. As proud, wise, powerful, people they fought off oppression.
You do understand that there is a great hypocrisy in waiting on injustice while seeking justice? It is very oxymoron-ish, to say the least....to say that we are waiting on the very thing the system is designed to withhold from us. Too long we have been fighting for justice but the only outcome has been "JUST NOT US." I guess they forgot, Black folks come from a spirit of endurance and strength…..and we ain't going nowhere until JUSTICE includes us.
What do we want…..JUSTICE; when do we want it…..NOW.
We’ve been waiting far too long and it's ridiculous that we have been forced to wait for JUSTICE and peace, liberation, reparations, and freedom too; and no that’s not too much to ask for considering the over 400 years we’ve been waiting for all of the same things for all of this time. But we will not idly sit and wait through the process of injustice, even though our expectations are rooted in the outcomes of injustice past. So, forced to wait we will, while seeking change through intentional ACTIVISM and ABOLITION of broken systems and norms.
In this case, specifically.....the wait started March 18, 2018, around 9:30 pm when Sacramento police officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal entered the backyard of Stephon Clark’s grandparents home with the help of a Sacramento Sheriff helicopter and ultimately shot Stephon emptying their clips and leaving him for dead. I don't know any other word to describe this action other than murder; and that makes these cops, like so many other cops who shoot unarmed people, MURDERERS. The justification is always based on a false narrative and fear. When the reality is there is no other reason than black skin that causes this unrealistic, hypersensitive fear based on the ways in which cops are trained to see BLACK assailants. And yes, even Black cops are trained to see Black skin as threatening because, in reality, the historical roots of policing in America was about capturing slaves.....who just so happened to have BLACK skin. So it matters not that the gun (or weapon) they claimed he had was a cell phone; the fact of the matter is being an unarmed Black person in America when dealing with the police can be a DEATH SENTENCE.....and there are too many names we could lift to prove this point.
“Where is that balance between safety and intent?”
Sacramento Councilmember Jeff Harris
2/5/2019 Law & Legislative Committee
Review of Proposed Protest Ordinance
The Sacramento PD murdered Stephon Clark. Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal saw a Black man in a Meadowview backyard and that is all they needed to discern. In those split seconds between his beating heart and their metal clips, they knew they were safe in taking his life with zero cause. There would be no charges. No loss of job. Nothing. Without Black Lives Matter Sacramento there wouldn’t even be public scrutiny. It would simply be business as usual—because safety to them is a Black man rendered powerless.
Apologies for my absence y’all.
Accountability is hard, blame is easy. One builds trust while the other destroys any inkling of it. You already know that Black Lives Matter Sacramento has been frontline in the fight for accountability and transparency from our local law enforcement entities and other elected public officials for a minute now, this ain’t new. 4 Black lives were stolen by the state of CA in 2018; Stephon Clark, Brandon Smith, Darrell Richards and Marshall Miles. Back to back, every 3 months and NOT ONE killer cop has faced any consequences.
In 1980, Stevie Wonder penned what has commonly become known as the Black Birthday National anthem; and it was written as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to urge the government to name MLK’s birthday a national holiday. When King was assassinated in 1968, the Black community said, “this is the least you can do,” considering his murder a blatant act of racist terrorism sponsored by the federal government. The song gave a sort of fire to the urgency to celebrate this man, who left us with a legacy to DREAM…..
You know it doesn’t make much sense
There out to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration, cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I’m sure you would agree
It couldn’t fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be
Happy birthday to ya
Happy birthday to ya
When Dr. King gave his last speech the night before he was murdered, he made what many have considered a prophetic pronouncement. I believe that it was more an acknowledgement of his mortality and more importantly his need at that critical moment to reassure his people.
I have watched the clip of Dr. King delivering this speech over and over. I always shed tears. I shed those tears not because I know that he will be stolen from us the next day but because of the enormous love he had for his people and the conviction he had in the ultimate victory of Black people.
These are the words he spoke: "Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"