Protests erupted in Sacramento on Sunday after the city's district attorney announced her officeagainst police officers involved in last year's deadly shooting of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man. The demonstrations forced the closure of the city's Arden Fair Mall.
Mall officials said they made the decision to close on Sunday at the recommendation of city officials, noting information about a "concentrated effort by protesters to gather in unsafe numbers within the mall," CBS Sacramento reported.
The sit-in began on Saturday with a small group of protesters. Once they were allowed to continue their protest into Sunday morning, their number of attendees grew, which led to the decision by mall officials to close for the day.
Clark was shot and killed in his grandmother's backyard while running from Sacramento police on March 18, 2018. A pathologist found that he was shot eight times by police, including six shots in the back. Police said he was a vandalism suspect.
Clark's family has publicly criticized the decision by the district attorney, calling Clark's shooting "a murder." Clark's two sons, his parents, and his grandparents have sued the City of Sacramento and two police officers involved in the shooting for at least $20 million in damages in a wrongful-death lawsuit, alleging that the shooting of Clark was racially motivated and that police used excessive force.
The city's district attorney, Anne Marie Schubert, said the officers' use of force was lawful.
"We must recognize that they are often forced to make split-second decisions and we must recognize that they are under tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances," Schubert said Saturday.
Clark's family has taken offense to a variety of private details that investigators have made public about Clark's mental state prior to his death, most notably that he had an Internet search history on suicide methods and that he faced a domestic violence complaint from the mother of his two children.
"Whatever his character is or his actions prior to those officers gunning him down, is no one's business," said Clark's mother, SeQuette. "It's not justification. That's not a permit to kill him."