At Stephon Clark's funeral, Rev. Al Sharpton responds to White House: "No, this is not a local matter. They’ve been killing young black men all over the country…it’s time for us to go down and stop this madness.” https://t.co/VSfoNRWMP5 pic.twitter.com/0g9GhswKK6
— ABC News (@ABC) March 29, 2018
In a fiery speech at the funeral of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old unarmed man shot dead by Sacramento police, Rev. Al Sharpton refuted White House statements that it was “a local matter,” and said Clark’s killing is part of a serious nationwide issue.
“They’ve been killing black men all across the country — we are going to start standing up….it’s time to stop this madness,” he said. “This is not a sacramental fight anymore, this is a national fight…we all stand for Stephon Clark. We will make Donald Trump and the whole world deal with police misconduct.”
At Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Clark’s killing was “a terrible incident” but also said, “This is something that is a local matter and that’s something that we feel should be left up to the local authorities at this point in time.”
Sharpton pushed back against that statement, saying Clark could have been “any one of us.”
As the service began, Stevante, Clark’s brother ran to his casket and heaved himself onto it in mourning beside a flower display with the words “Rest In Power.”
He briefly interrupted chants led by Sharpton, grabbing the mic and screaming, “louder! louder!” Sharpton wrapped an arm around him as Stevante raised a balled fist in the air before a crowds of some 500 attendees.
Even after the media attention fizzles, Sharpton said his support would be unwavering.
“I want him to know that we are with him,” he said. “When the cameras are gone, we are with him. When everybody runs through for a photo op, we are with him.”
Tensions have been reaching a boiling point in California following Clark’s death on the night of March 18, when police fired at him 20 times believing the cellphone in his hand was a gun. They had been called to the neighborhood of Meadowview to search for a vandal who’d been smashing car windows.
The event, which was captured on body cams, has sparked outrage and calls for criminal convictions from those who are again seeing a situation which is all-too-familiar.
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[Image via screengrab]