Stephon Clark Protestors Shut Down Mall, Issue ‘Wanted’ Poster for Police Officers Who Killed Him

By Crescenzo Vellucci
Vanguard Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Protests in the aftermath of the Saturday decision by prosecutors to not charge the two Sacramento police officers who shot and killed unarmed Stephon Clark a year ago ramped up Sunday when protests closed the Capital City’s largest mall.

Protestors also issued a “Wanted” poster for the City of Sacramento officers who slayed Clark.

Arden Fair Mall apparently elected to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, and inconvenience thousands of Sunday shoppers because activists were planning a peaceful public education event at the mall to inform shoppers about the Clark killing and racial injustice.

The mall could have allowed the free speech event, or close its doors. It did the latter.

A mall spokesperson suggested the mall couldn’t guarantee the safety of patrons – although there has been no violence after Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said she wouldn’t prosecute City police officers for killing Clark.

Last year, protestors closed down Sacramento Kings NBA games twice, and Interstate 5.

Saturday, after the announced by the DA that her office wouldn’t prosecute the officers, there was a four-hour protest at SPD headquarters where several “Blue Lives Matter” flags were torched by demonstrators.

The mall released a statement noting it respected the “free speech” rights of demonstrators, but closing the mall instead of allowing that free speech inside appeared to be inconsistent with the support for free speech, said one protestor Sunday.

About a dozen student protestors, some with the Black Student Union, entered the mall about closing time Saturday and held a peaceful sit-in – mall authorities let them stay there all night and then asked them to leave Sunday morning.

Berry Accius, an organizer with Voices of Youth, told reporters Sunday that 13 Black students closed down the mall, and that their message was that “two killer officers can no longer reside or work in  Sacramento ever again,” and that they should be fired.

Activists reportedly said that shutting down the mall was the “only way for folks to realize what’s going on.”

While would-be mall patrons were turned away in droves, the crowd of demonstrators, including men, women and children – topped out at around 50, doing what they intended to do inside – distributing flyers about racial injustice and the Stephon Clark killing by police.

And they also circulated a controversial “wanted” poster, targeting SPD officers.

WANTED BY THE PEOPLE OF SACRAMENTO for Murder of Stephon Clark” read the poster, over the mug shots of SPD officer Terrance Mercadal and officer Jared Robinet. Mercadel joined the force in 2016 and Robinet in 2014, and earn about $73,000 and $125,000, the poster noted.

The poster continued:  “Officers Mercadal and Robinet fired over 20 shots killing unarmed 22-year-old Stephon Clark in his own backyard. This was an act of police terror that the DA has decided was not criminal. We cannot tolerate cold blooded murder killer cops in our city. No justice, no Peace #EndPoliceTerror.”

The warned the officers “should be considered armed and dangerous.”

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  1. Alan Miller

    Given the horse-tripping-out-the-gate reaction to the Corona killing, and the recently uncovered ‘murder-all-cops’ statements from an unapologetic university professor, I was prepared to hate this.

    However, that is one clever poster.  Heartened they left out ‘dead or alive’ — makes it digestible to a larger audience.  It is effective, spot-on, sarcasm inversion.

    I can’t know what happened in any one case, and there is no doubt a serious problem that must be addressed.  This is much more the strong tone of a movement that can make a difference, rather than understandable but ultimately harmful and destructive-to-the-movement calls for violence.

  2. Edgar Wai

    Now I watched NYT’s commented footage.

    It seems that the officers were afraid of their safety. I don’t see anything criminal about what they did. They probably could have done better, and the protocol can be improved, but they didn’t do anything criminal.

    What I interpreted from the footage:

    1. After one of the officers said Clark had a gun, although they also had their guns drawn, they didn’t immediately fire. They DUCKED behind the corner, and told Clark to show his hands. If the officers were really out to kill Clark, they could have started firing.

    2. Then the officers peeked around the corner to see if Clark was showing his hands. Clark was not, and he had gotten much closer (from 40 ft to 25 ft) since the officers last saw them. Clark might have walked closer to the officers because he wanted to get inside the house (the backyard door was there). He was not following the verbal commands, the officers saw that Clark was holding something and thought that was a gun and started firing.

    3. Why did the officers keep shooting when Clark was down? I think it was because when both officers were firing, they saw the missed bullet of the other officer and didn’t know that they hit Clark. They didn’t see blood or anything. All they saw was Clark lying down. They were expecting Clark to return fire if they would go closer to check on him. There they waited for backup to arrive.

    4. It seems that Jared (PD for 4 years) fired first. Terrace (PD for 2 years) heard the shots and immediately ducked behind the corner again. Terrace thought that Clark was firing at them. I think Terrace asked if Jared was hit because Terrace thought that they were shot at.

    5. When the officers got closer, someone said “Oh, ****”. That was when the officer saw the bullet holes on Clark and realized that Clark was STRUCK by bullets. He thought that the bullets just hit the ground because if they saw anything, it would be the spark from the bullet of the other officer.

    I think the officers didn’t do anything criminal.

    About the number of shots fired. I don’t know a lot about guns, but maybe we got wrong ideas from watching movies about snipers. We imagine that, “If you fire a shot, you will know immediately if it was a hit or miss, and THEN you decide to fire a second shot, right? So if each the officer struck Clark multiple times, this must have happened in their mind: It hit! I will fire again! It hit again! I will fire again!…”

    But that was not what happened. They fired and didn’t know if they hit.

  3. Bill Marshall

    There s another possibility… that the officers acted irresponsibly, and should be banned from employment from the County, and any other police agency or private security who carry weapons… even if not demonstrably guilty of a “crime”, all the evidence points to gross incompetence… that can be dealt with administratively, even if it doesn’t rise to a criminal conviction.

    Many folk are discharged for poor/incompetent actions, even absent criminal charges… it appears the door is still open for ‘civil’ claims, against the officers, and/or the County…

    Maybe not what ‘revengenists’ would seek, but still punitive, and ‘justice’…

    Alan appears to be correct, that the poster was not meant to incite a literal ‘lynch mob’, but ‘borders’… all it takes is one person who is ‘incited’, ignoring the subtleties Alan correctly pointed out, to “up the ante”…

    If I were either one of the officers, I’d “get out of Dodge”, professionally and geographically… two ‘double taps”, one from each of the officers, under some cover, might make sense… sounds more like they “emptied their clips”…

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