Today is one of those days where I have more to tell you than I have actual time to say it all. First I want to break down and explain a horrific police shooting that happened in Sacramento, California this past weekend and then I will give you an update on the Austin bombings that targeted and killed members of two different Black families there.
Every single day, 24 hours a day, families who’ve been affected by police brutality contact me to share their story. It’s difficult to sort them all. As best I can, I try to refer or forward people to someone that can help – and when I can – I will tell and amplify their story myself. Earlier this week I received a series of emails and messages explaining to me that a beloved young man named Zo had been shot and killed by police in his own backyard by local police in Sacramento.
Now you have to understand, when I first get these emails, it’s hard to know who’s who and what’s what. It took 3-4 different people contacting me for it to get my attention. Once I finally paused to understand what happened, it was clear that a grave injustice had taken place.
The young man people were calling Zo, was 22 year old Stephan Alonzo Clark. He was unarmed and non-violent, standing in his own backyard, when police, searching for someone responsible for random neighborhood vandalism, confronted him.
Literally, within seconds of seeing Clark, an officer yells out “gun” and begins shooting. The officer’s partner joins in, and begins shooting as well. At least 20 different times they fired their guns at Stephan Alonzo Clark, killing him right there on the spot.
Refusing him any first aid whatsoever, they literally just stood at a distance and yelled at him for several minutes while he breathed his last breath.
That night, police said they fired 4 shots at Stephan because they saw him point a gun at them.
Now we know they didn’t fire 4 shots, but fired 20.
Then, hours later, police admitted that Clark didn’t have a gun or point a gun at them, but that it was a crowbar he pointed at them. Hours after that, police admitted that no crowbar was found on the scene.
The only thing they found on Clark was a cell phone and some headphones. No gun, no crowbar, just a young black man in his own backyard, shot and killed on contact because cops are consistently afraid of blackness itself – and then project onto black people guns and weapons and threats that don’t even really exist.
Late last night Sacramento did the right thing and released several body camera videos from the shooting. I watched them all. Clark never posed a single threat to these officers. He was dead within seconds of them even entering his backyard. He never came toward them, never touched them. He wasn’t even close to them when the officer lied and said Clark had a gun and began unloading his gun.
Lastly, right after the officers shot and killed Stephan Clark, you can hear the officer who yelled gun tell his partner to turn off the audio to their body cameras. This alone, in my opinion, is an admission of guilt, and should be classified as a crime.
I only have a few minutes left, but I want to give you an official update on the bombings in Austin, Texas. The bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, blew himself up with a suicide bomb yesterday morning when confronted by local police. This after placing and sending bombs all over the city that killed members of two well known black families there in Austin.
I have two final thoughts on Conditt, the bomber. First, he was a lifelong conservative. And what we are seeing is that violent, well-armed white men continue to be the most dangerous threat to this country – from mass shootings to serial killings to serial bombers – but they continue to operate under the radar with virtually no detection or intervention until it’s way too late.
Lastly, something despicable is already happening. Less than 24 hours before Conditt blew himself, both the local police chief and news outlets all around the world, are telling a sympathetic story about Mark Anthony Conditt. Many of us knew it was going to happen, and said it’d only be a matter of time until we heard such stories, but it happened much faster, from the top down, than any of us expected.
The man was a serial bomber. He carefully crafted and planted bombs that blew two young black men to bits – killing them on contact. He planted and mailed other bombs all over Austin – injuring many others.
And already, he’s getting sympathy. It’s gross. And I’ll close with this thought. White privilege is a helluva drug – Mark Anthony Conditt is getting – even in death. And what we’re seeing is that violent white men, who murder people in heinous ways, end up getting treated with more sympathy than black victims of white violence.
I’ve gotta run, but I’ll continue to cover both stories closely. Take care y’all.
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Shaun King: Update On Stephon Clark & The Austin Bomber was originally published on blackamericaweb.com