Sacramento agrees to settle suit by Stephon Clark protesters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sacramento agrees to settle suit by Stephon Clark protesters

March 10, 2020 - 7:17 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento has agreed to pay more than $500,000 to settle a lawsuit on behalf of 84 people who were arrested during a protest over the police shooting of an unarmed, mentally ill black man, a lawyer said Tuesday.

If a judge approves the deal, most protesters will receive $4,000 each while four will receive $7,000 each, civil rights attorney Mark Merin told the Sacramento Bee.

Sacramento County will pay another $595 to each person, Merin said. County sheriff's deputies backed up city police during the protest.

The 2018 killing of Stephon Clark sparked months of protests that roiled the city and spurred changes to a state law governing when authorities can use deadly force.

Clark, 22, had run from officers who were investigating reports of a car burglar. He was shot in his grandparents' backyard. Police said they believed Clark was carrying a firearm. But investigators concluded he only had a cellphone.

The city later agreed to pay $2.4 million to Clark's two sons in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The March 4, 2019, protest was prompted by the decision of the county district attorney not to file criminal charges against officers over the killing.

After several hours of marching, police declared an unlawful assembly and herded demonstrators onto a freeway overpass, eventually arresting dozens of people, including clergy members and three reporters. None were charged.

City Manager Howard Chan called the protest settlement agreement “a fair resolution to a difficult situation.”

“The city remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of all of its residents and to protecting everyone’s right to free speech and peaceful assembly,” Chan said in an emailed statement to the Bee.

The Police Department also issued a statement saying it “is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our community while upholding the constitutional rights of every individual."

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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