Wake held for Sacramento man Stephon Clark killed in officer-involved shooting

SACRAMENTO (KGO) -- Friends and family are gathering Wednesday to remember and honor Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police last week.

"You don't know what it's like until you experience it," Clark's uncle, Curtis Gordon said. "You can see it on TV, it's totally OK to deal with those realities when it's just through a television and they're not in your home. It's different now."

"Black Lives Matter" organizers plan to hold protests again Wednesday and Thursday in Sacramento in front of the District Attorney's office as they demand criminal charges be filed against the two police officers.

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Tensions were high at Monday night's Sacramento City Council meeting after Clark's brother interrupted.

The night was supposed to be dedicated to the public and their response to the killing of Clark.

Clark was killed March 18 when two Sacramento police officers responding to a report of someone breaking car windows fatally shot him in his grandparents' backyard.
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The grandmother of an unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police is calling for changes in the way police confront suspects. She suggests shooting them in an extremity.

Police say they believe Clark was the suspect and he ran when a police helicopter responded, then did not obey officers' orders.

Police say they thought Clark was holding a gun when he moved toward them, but he was found only with a cellphone.

The California attorney general's office on Tuesday joined the investigation, a move Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said he hopes will bring "faith and transparency" to a case that he said has as sparked "extremely high emotions, anger and hurt in our city."

Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office will provide oversight of the investigation and conduct a review of the police department's policies and use-of-force training. The decision of whether to bring criminal charges against the officers involved remains with District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, although Becerra said his office could also bring charges.

Clark's family is skeptical that the investigation will provide appropriate results, Gordon said.

"It's all talk at this point," he said. "Show me."

African-Americans have been dealing with implicit and explicit bias for centuries, Gordon said. Many factors play a role but he said one necessity is for police forces to do a better job weeding out those who should not be officers.

Clark's family is leaning on their faith as they face a public wake Wednesday and a two-hour funeral Thursday, both at Bayside of South Sacramento Church. Clark leaves behind a fiancee and two children, ages 1 and 3.

Sacramento's mayor says the council will not meet Wednesday out of respect for Clark's family.

Click here for full coverage on the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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