Sacramento Kings

With another Stephon Clark protest set, security tight for Kings’ season finale

Sacramento police secure Golden 1 Center for Kings-Pacers game

The scene outside Golden 1 Center on Thursday, March 29, 2018, before the Sacramento Kings played against the Indiana Pacers. Protests stemming from the police's killing of Stephon Clark on March 18 caused the arena to be locked down for two games.
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The scene outside Golden 1 Center on Thursday, March 29, 2018, before the Sacramento Kings played against the Indiana Pacers. Protests stemming from the police's killing of Stephon Clark on March 18 caused the arena to be locked down for two games.

With one last Sacramento Kings game this year set for Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center, authorities are re-installing security fencing and other barriers to ensure no disruptions from another protest over the police shooting of Stephon Clark.

With tipoff against the Houston Rockets scheduled for 7:30 p.m., the Kings are urging fans with tickets to the game to arrive early, a necessity because of the maze of security.

The fencing and steel barriers that were still being erected Wednesday morning are designed to prevent any disruptions similar to two last month that kept thousands of fans out of the arena because protesters had surrounded the building and were blocking doors.

The Kings are banning any signs from being brought into the arena and have placed 6-foot-high cyclone fencing around the perimeter to funnel ticketholders toward metal detectors and the arena doors and to screen out any potential protesters.

A protest in memory of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old south Sacramento man shot and killed by Sacramento police on March 18, is set to begin at 3 p.m. at District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office at Ninth and G streets, where marchers have gathered regularly to encourage her to file criminal charges against the two officers.

Police have said the officers shot the unarmed black man because they believed he had a gun. He later was found to be carrying only a cellphone.

Anger over his death has spawned national attention and protests that have snarled downtown rush-hour traffic and shut down Interstate 5 during one march. Since then, police, the California Highway Patrol and other agencies have maintained a watch over the marches, preventing any protesters from making their way onto the highways.

Efforts to disrupt traffic have diminished during recent protests, but marchers did parade through the Golden 1 plaza the night of March 30 after a private autopsy by the Clark legal team revealed he had been shot eight times, six of them in the back.

That march, which ended after 1 a.m., included efforts by protesters to get inside the Sawyer Hotel adjacent to the arena, and security fencing was being placed around portions of that building Wednesday.

Last week, while the Kings were on the road, the security fencing was removed, but workers were seen re-installing it Tuesday in preparation for the game Wednesday night.

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