Matt Barnes Speaks At Stephon Clark Rally: ‘Having A Little Bit Of Color To Your Skin Means You’re Guilty’
The former Sacramento Kings player organized the rally after the shooting of Stephon Clark.
April 01, 2018 at 12:19 am
Former Sacramento Kings basketball player Matt Barnes organized a rally Saturday demanding justice for 22-year-old Stephon Clark.
The Sacramento native called for an end to police brutality at the peaceful rally in downtown Sacramento, California, where Clark's family and friends were present as well.
Barnes said, while addressing the crowd, cops around the nation should practice community policing because "having a little bit of color to your skin" should not make you guilty.
After the shooting of the father of two on March 18, the city has succumbed to a slew of protests calling for answers. Clark was shot at around 20 times by Sacramento police who said that Clark posed an imminent threat. He died in his grandmother's backyard. That night police received a 911 call claiming that a man was in the neighborhood vandalizing cars with a weapon.
Authorities stated that the father of two had a toolbar and, finally, it was revealed that Clark was unarmed with only a cellphone.
On Friday, the results of an independent autopsy performed by a doctor hired by Clark's family revealed damning inconsistencies in police accounts of what happened that night. The autopsy revealed that Clark was shot eight times in the back and sides of his body, according to a recent Blavity report.
At Saturday's rally, Barnes and scores of other protesters proclaimed that they've had enough of seeing black people die at the hands of police.
"I walk these same streets. I have these same encounters with police before," Barnes, who also attended Clark's funeral on Thursday, said. "I'm a father of two. They killed Stephon Clark, they killed Alton. They continue to kill us and it can be any of us.
“Now, having a little bit of color to your skin means you're guilty. That shouldn't be the case. That's some bulls**t right there."
“Now, having a little bit of color on your skin means your guilty” — @Matt_Barnes22 on why he arranged today’s #StephonClark rally pic.twitter.com/4ww2fTBvMx
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) March 31, 2018
Barnes made it clear that his connection and love for his hometown was the reason he spoke out. He plans to be a voice for change and he's putting his money where his mouth is, too.
Prior to the rally, Barnes told MSNBC that he will start a scholarship program in the name of Clark's sons.
In an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Barnes said he will be starting a scholarship program in the names of Stephon Clark's sons. A rally for Clark, organized by Barnes, is set to begin at noon. https://t.co/fObCC9JfaM
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) March 31, 2018
Ultimately, Barnes said he hopes that police and the communities they patrol can better understand one another.
"You fear what you don't know. We don't know these cops, so we fear them," he said. "They don't know us, so they fear us."