SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Police have released their account of the events around Monday’s protester march in East Sacramento that ended with more than 80 arrests.
The march was put on in response to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s decision not to charge the officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark in 2018. Organizers say they chose the affluent East Sacramento neighborhood because they felt the people could effect change lived there.
According to the police report released Friday, the protest started out peacefully, but those circumstances began to change over two hours.
Protesters were “blocking access” to a hospital in the area and “multiple” vehicles were vandalized, police said. The report also stated that a protester was seen walking with "an unknown object that was on fire."
Police said a homeowner and a person involved in the protest got into an argument that then escalated into an assault. In the report, police did not say who assaulted whom in that altercation.
At 7:20 p.m. police declared the gathering of protesters to be an “unlawful assembly.” It was at that time that officers began ordering the crowd to disperse.
Over the next hour and 40 minutes, 30 dispersal orders were given, police said. Fifteen of those announcements were done via loudspeaker from a police vehicle, and another 15 were done using a Long-Range Acoustic Device.
While some people cooperated, police said a large group remained and continued protesting. That group, however, disputes this claim. They say that police blocked their path back to their vehicles and funneled them onto the overpass where they were ultimately arrested.
“In the interest of community safety and protection of property,” police say they then began arresting the protesters.
In all 84 people were cited for unlawful assembly. The report states that one protester was also cited for possession of a prohibited weapon.
Ultimately, the district attorney declined to file any charges against all 84 protesters.
Officials say they are continuing to investigate this incident. They are asking anyone with additional information on the protest, or anyone who has property damage, to call 916-808-5471.
Protesters took to the streets in East Sacramento to protest a decision by District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to not charge the officers involved in the shooting death of Stephon Clark.