Protests continued over the weekend in Sacramento after a family-ordered autopsy showed an unarmed black man named Stephon Clark was shot in the back at least six times by two police officers.
The protests ratcheted up pressure on Sacramento law enforcement
and attracted national attention when protesters twice blocked most fans from entering the Sacramento Kings arena.
The Kings have taken the unusual step of embracing the protests. So far, it’s worked: No protesters stopped Kings fans from walking into a Saturday game against the Golden State Warriors.
One player finds himself at the center of the team’s foray into social activism: Garrett Temple, an undrafted 6-foot-5-inch guard who at 31 years old doesn’t have many contracts left.
“It’s too many lives being took, there’s too many lives just being took for mistakes,” Temple said. “You guys are trained. You know the difference between a cell phone and a gun. You could have tased him. You shooting a man because of some broken windows and you don’t even know if that’s the right person.”
One demonstrator was injured Saturday night when she was struck by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department cruiser, and confrontational protests with police stretched into the night.
When asked if he would consider a more disruptive protest than wearing warm-up gear printed with Stephon Clark’s name, Temple said demonstrations on their own have a limited shelf life.
“Walking off the court isn’t gonna erase implicit bias. Kneeling isn’t gonna erase implicit bias. Talking to the chief of police about how to get police in the community .. and build a relationship with people,” Temple said. “That’s what’s gonna erase those implicit biases.”
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