Sacramento's Black Lives Matter chapter has announced a gathering on short notice Friday night at City Hall, following private autopsy findings that say Stephon Clark was shot eight times - six in the back - during a night chase in south Sacramento nearly two weeks ago.
As tensions grew Friday following the autopsy release, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a statement, asking for "nonviolent civil action" and saying the city will work aggressively toward appropriate change in police protocols.
Clark, 22, was shot and killed by two police officers March 18 in his grandmother's backyard. Police had chased him there after receiving reports of a man breaking car windows. Officers said they thought the cellphone in Clark's hand was a gun, based on body cam footage released three days after the shooting.
In a Facebook post, the Sacramento Black Lives Matter group called on people to meet at 8 p.m. at City Hall "and go from there."
"We need to HIT THESE STREETS," the post said.
It would be the fourth straight night of protests calling for justice. Protesters earlier in the week marched in the streets, disrupting traffic and blocking Sacramento Kings fans from entering the arena for a Tuesday night game.
Those protests, though angry and passionate, were largely non-violent. A Black Lives Matter leader did not respond Friday afternoon about the planned gathering.
Earlier in the day, however, that leader, Tanya Faison, told The Bee, "I can’t predict how the community is going to react."
The post noted that the private autopsy, conducted by prominent pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu and overseen by attorneys for the Clark family, determined that Clark was facing the house, not police, when shot. It dubbed the event "Shot 7 Times in His Back! In the Streets."
An initial bullet hit him in the left side, spinning him around with his back to the officers, Omalu said. Six bullets entered his back, and a final bullet hit him in the leg.
While Omalu said the initial round entered Clark's left side, the pathologist suggested one could "reasonably conclude" that the initial bullet was a seventh one in his back. That has led some, including Black Lives Matter, to say he was struck seven times in the back.
Mayor Steinberg issued his own call to the public Friday after the autopsy press conference.
"From the moment we saw the video we knew the details of this horrific shooting were graphic and disturbing," he said in an afternoon statement. "We have an obligation to everyone involved, including the family of Stephon Clark, to wait for the full findings and results from the official autopsy and investigation.
"As the mayor of our city, I assure the community and the public that we will aggressively seek answers to all of the questions the community is rightfully asking. As important, we will aggressively seek appropriate change to the protocols and training that led to this unacceptable outcome.
"From the bottom of my heart, I urge our entire community to work together through nonviolent civil action as we pursue justice and demand reform."