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Common addresses Sacramento police shooting: “let’s stand up and speak out”

Stephon Clark
photo of Stephon Clark and his family, posted by Common

You may have heard yesterday’s tragic news that unarmed 22-year-old Sacramento man Stephon Clark was shot over 20 times and killed by police officers in his grandmother’s backyard. He had two children, ages 1 and 3. As The Sacramento Bee reported:

Police arrived at the 7500 block of 29th Street at about 9:18 p.m. Sunday, responding to a 911 call that a man was breaking into vehicles, according to the department. A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter had also responded.

Deputies in the helicopter reported seeing a man armed with a “tool bar” in a nearby backyard and began to direct ground officers to that location.

…Clark’s family said their front doorbell was broken and family members would knock on the back window for entrance through the garage door.

Police entered the front yard of Clark’s grandparents’ house and saw him along the side of the house, according to the original department press release. Police said officers “gave the suspect commands to stop and show his hands,” but that he “immediately fled from the officers and ran towards the back of the home.”

It was there that police said they pursued Clark and where he “turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him.”

Police said officers believed the object was a gun and fired, “fearing for their safety.”

No gun was found at the scene. Police later said that object was a cellphone. It was found near Clark’s body and taken into evidence.

This has understandably caused mass outrage, and many activists and writers have weighed in on both this horrifying incident and the greater, still-unsolved issue of police brutality. One person to weigh in is rapper Common, who posted a Twitter thread that reads:

On Sunday night, Sacramento Police Officers shot and killed Stephon Clark after firing 20 rounds while he was unarmed and in his own backyard. This brother was just 22 years old. Clark leaves behind two sons, ages 1 and 3. Injustices like this thrive in the darkness so let’s stand up and speak out to shine a light on it. My prayers and Love go to Stephon Clark’s Family, Children and Loved Ones. It’s out of Control when a 22 year old is gunned down in his own backyard. This issue is something we must address and resolve immediately because it is still happening. GOD Bless His Soul.

You can see Common’s tweets, below.

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