Al Sharpton on Sunday announced on MSNBC that he plans to attend the Thursday funeral of Stephon Clark, 22, who was shot at 20 times by Sacramento police March 18 in his grandmother’s back yard while holding only a cell phone.
The death of Clark, 22, sparked two days of protests in Sacramento on Thursday and Friday, some organized by Black Lives Matters. Protesters on Thursday blocked traffic on Interstate 5 and prevented spectators from entering Golden 1 Arena for a Sacramento Kings game.
On his MSNBC show, “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton,” Sharpton on Sunday told Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Clark family, that he planned to be in Sacramento on Thursday for Stephon Clark’s funeral.
“They’re very hopeful, the family of Stephon Clark, that you will be available to come on Thursday to help properly eulogize him,” Crump said during a panel discussion on the shooting and the federal government’s response.
“Well, I’m going to try my best to be there since you said it on television,” Sharpton replied, laughing. “But I told the mother I would do what I could and I intend to be there on Thursday.”
Sharpton, 63, a civil rights activist and Baptist minister, has been involved in countless protests across the United States against police violence and discrimination against African Americans.
Clark was shot at 20 times while holding a cell phone by two Sacramento Police Department officers who mistook the phone for a gun.
“Certainly this case has not gotten the national attention that I think it deserves,” Sharpton said earlier on his show. “Twenty shots at an unarmed man. I immediately was alarmed by this.”