Hundreds of protesters marched in Sacramento streets on Saturday night following the release of an independent autopsy into the police shooting of an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark. The autopsy confirmed he’d been shot eight times (mostly in the back) in his grandmother’s backyard, with the officers reportedly perceiving Clark’s cell phone as a gun. Saturday night’s march also grew violent when one activist, Wanda Cleveland, was struck by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, which then drove away from the scene.
The local ABC affiliate tweeted a warning-heavy clip showing the moment of impact — one slow-moving sheriff’s vehicle can be heard blaring warnings for protesters to step away, and a second, faster department vehicle approaches from behind and strikes Cleveland. ABC 10 also published a 40-minute video that shows the entire incident, including the moments where Cleveland is laying on the side of the road before being aided by fire department responders.
The activist struck was Wanda Cleveland, a regular at Sacramento City Council meetings. She lay immobile on her side in the street until a fire department crew arrived to pick her up.
Cleveland was released from Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center after midnight, with bruises on her arm and the back of her head. “He never even stopped. It was a hit and run. If I did that I’d be charged,” Cleveland said at the hospital. “It’s disregard for human life.”
The Sacramento Bee reports that Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt Shaun Hampton officially confirmed on Sunday morning that the collision happened. Hampton characterized the crowd of protesters as including “vandals” who kicked department vehicles, including “scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window.” Hampton did not explain why the second sheriff’s vehicle was traveling faster and why it didn’t stop after impact.
The New York Times notes that the officers who were driving both vehicles have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.