City on edge for funeral of man killed by Sacramento police
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — City officials braced for more protests as mourners gathered today for the funeral of a 22-year-old, unarmed black man who was shot to death by Sacramento police in his grandparents' backyard.
The Rev. Al Sharpton planned to give the eulogy at services for Stephon Clark. Sharpton has called the shooting an "atrocity" that shows the urgent need for intervention against police misconduct and for a thorough investigation.
Some mourners at Wednesday's wake predicted increased unrest beyond the unruly but mostly nonviolent protests that have disrupted traffic and two professional basketball games since the March 18 shooting.
The Rev. Ray Morsheth of Sacramento Revival Center said he plans to stay away from the funeral for fear things could turn ugly, while the Rev. Phillip Goudeaux of Calvary Christian Center said it should be a time for peace and forgiveness.
"I am very concerned about the climate and what's going on right now," Goudeaux said of the high emotions since Clark's death.
Two Sacramento police officers who were responding to a report of someone breaking car windows fatally shot Clark. Video of the nighttime incident released by police shows a man later identified as Clark running into the backyard where police fired 20 rounds at him after screaming "gun, gun, gun."
It turned out Clark was holding a cellphone.