Sacramento, CA – Black Lives Matter protesters showed up to harass one of the police officers involved in the Stephon Clark shooting as he ate lunch with his groomsmen on his wedding day.
“I think they need to be approached in spaces where they’re a little more vulnerable,” said Sacramento Black Lives Matter founder Tanya Faison told KOVR.
Faison said Black Lives Matter started planning the confrontation after they found the officer’s wedding website online.
The website included information about the Aug. 5 wedding venue, at a vineyard located about an hour outside of Sacramento, KOVR reported.
Bizarrely, the video showed a 20-something white woman accosting the black police officer on behalf of Black Lives Matter.
“Hey guys! I just wonder if you started planning your wedding before you killed Stephon Clark or after?” the woman greeted the men by way of introduction after she busted into the private room where they were sitting around a table eating lunch.
“And how have you been sleeping since March 18?” a female protester asked. “And I know this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, he will not have that option.”
At first, the officers just looked stunned at the interruption, and did not react, the video showed.
Then one of the officers got up and calmly asked the protesters to leave.
That’s when the protesters began screaming “murderer” at the groom as they were ushered out the door, the video showed.
Faison told KOVR that crashing a police officer’s wedding wasn’t taking their protest too far “because he’s gonna remember this day for the rest of his life.”
The officer-involved shooting of Clark sparked protests that led to riots in Sacramento for weeks after it happened.
Clark, 22, was fatally shot by police on March 18 in his grandparents’ backyard when officers responded to 911 calls about a man breaking into cars and homes. Recordings later revealed that one of the 911 calls came from Clark’s own grandfather.
Video showed Clark ran from police, then turned and faced them in a shooting stance. Officers fired at Clark, but investigators later determined that he had been holding a cell phone.
Thus far, the district attorney’s office has not yet ruled on whether the shooting was justified, and has not said whether any of the officers involved will be indicted, according to KOVR.
According to Blue Lives Matter's Editor-in-Chief, there's no ethical way that the officers could be prosecuted because the shooting was clearly justified.
Sacramento police said the officers involved in the shooting have been receiving death threats and have required security since the incident.
“People may think that these officers are just going about their lives, but this is a very traumatic event for everyone,” Sacramento Police Sergeant Vance Chandler told KOVR.
Sgt. Chandler thought showing up on the officer’s wedding day was taking things just a step too far.
“I feel that our department has handled demonstrations and protests very well and we have taken great effort’s to allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights but on this one, what is the purpose of this?” he asked.
Faison said they crashed the wedding to remind the police that people are still suffering from Clark’s death.
“Stephon Clark’s family is still mourning and suffering. He doesn’t get to be with his kids, or get married,” she said.
Sacramento Police Officers Association President Timothy Davis said his organization supports “transparency” but that “transparency brings trust.”
“Trust between our officers and the citizens they protect is an important aspect of a safe community,” Davis said. “Our police officers are members of this community. They raise their families here. The send their children to schools here. They live their lives as a part of this community.”
“Transparency comes with responsibility. Officers deserve to be free from harassment by individuals seeking their own forms of justice. True accountability can only come from our impartial judicial system and from our elected government,” he said.
KVOR interviewed several black members of the community and all of them said the officer’s wedding should have been off-limits.
“No, I don’t think it’s appropriate, that’s why I say there’s a time and place for everything,” Susiann Donaldson said.
Community member Michael Keeley was also disturbed by the disruption of wedding events.
“As a black man in the community, I’m concerned whenever there’s injustice on any black person, certainly there’s a right to protest but I think there are limits when to protest in a public place and the right of privacy for your wedding,” Keeley said.