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Sheriff's deputy's vehicle strikes activist protesting Stephon Clark's death

Sacramento police shooting death protests
Sacramento police shooting death protests 02:44

SACRAMENTO -- Tension has escalated in wake of an incident where a protester was injured after being struck by a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department vehicle over the weekend, CBS San Francisco reports. The sheriff's department remains under scrutiny for their role in the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

Video of the collision shows a crowd converge on a sheriff's vehicle before the deputy steps on the gas, subsequently striking a female protester. The group of activists were gathered in the street, partaking in the latest demonstration to denounce the killing of Clark, who was shot by police two weeks ago.

At first, protesters walked alongside deputies' vehicles. But then, as the cell phone video shows, some of the activists decided to close in on one of the cruisers. A deputy made several announcements on the loudspeaker for the public to step back from his vehicle and to give him room. But a protester, named Wanda Cleveland, walked in front of the vehicle was knocked to the ground. 

"The woman was walking in between the two vehicles, stopped in front of the deputy's vehicle, put up her hand in a stop sign and the vehicle accelerated -- accelerated very fast -- and struck her violently," said Guy Danilowitz, with the National Lawyers Guild, who was present during the protest. "She fell to the ground and the deputies then sped off."

Cleveland was hospitalized with bruises on her head and arm. She told the Sacramento Bee: "He never even stopped. It was a hit-and-run. If I did, that I'd be charged. It's disregard for human life."

"As protesters approached both of the marked vehicles, they began yelling while pounding and kicking the vehicles' exterior," the sheriff's department said in a statement. "A collision occurred while the patrol vehicle was traveling at slow speeds."

The National Lawyers Guild responded to the crash by saying the sheriff's department is being "dishonest and misleading" by saying the car was moving slowly. A member of the Guild, who observed the protest firsthand, said the vehicle "accelerated rapidly" as it struck Cleveland. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

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