Stephon Clark’s family says it can get no justice nor peace if it was left up to a prosecutor organization that they claim is interfering with a social-justice message produced by the National Football League (NFL).
The Clark-Thompson family held a press conference in front of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office after the president of the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) asked the NFL to remove a Public Service Announcement featuring Clark.
Clark was fatally shot by two Sacramento police officers in his grandmother’s backyard in March 2018. The new social justice campaign by the league is an effort to end systemic racism. Sequette Clark is shown in the video discussing her son, who is the father of two children.
“I need you to be aware that every time they do something like this it brings Stephon Clark back to life and then it kills him all over again,” Sequette Clark said of the actions by the CDAA. “Stop it. Stop.”
The CDAA consists of 3,300 prosecutor members in California that provide legal education and legislative advocacy. The organization stated that the Stephon Clark segment of the PSA does not cover all the facts of the case.
“Though well-intentioned, the video performs a disservice instead of a public service by omitting the crucial facts which preceded Mr. Clark’s tragic death,” California District Attorneys Association president Vern Pierson said in a statement.
Clark was shot at eight times with six bullets hitting him in the back, the family’s autopsy examiner said. He was unarmed, holding nothing by a cell phone, the Sacramento Police concluded during its investigation.
During the press conference, the Clark-Thompson family asked for recall of District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who decided not to file charges in March 2019 against the officers involved in the shooting.
“The District Attorney’s office is trying to make a mockery and discredit my brother’s legacy,” said Stevante Clark. “This is not something new to us. You have to remember how she assassinated my brother’s character when she didn’t charge those officers. It was a smear campaign from the get-go.”
The family said it does not have evidence, but they believe that Schubert may have had a hand in the CDAA’s decision in asking the NFL to remove the video.
“Because she is a part of the association, obviously, she has some pull,” Sequette told the local media. “I believe Peirson was out there on behalf of someone he represents.”
The NFL’s Responsibility Program has united with various leaders and community organizations to provide the stories of families that have lost a loved one to gun violence, either at the hands of law enforcement officers or others.
The family would not say whether or not they spoke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the matter or pulling the video from the airwaves. They referred those questions to the league. Stevante Clark did say they receive support from the NFL.
“They are standing in solidarity with us as we are standing in solidarity with them,” Stevante Clark said of the family’s relationship with the NFL.
“I would just like to thank them, the NFL, with their Inspired Change program, the programs that they are funding and the grants that they are sending out,” Sequette Clark said. “It’s an awesome thing.”
By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer