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Stephon Clark should be alive

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Demonstrators protested the fatal police shooting of unarmed 22-year-old Stephon Clark at the Golden 1 Center Thursday night, prompting police to close off admission to a Sacramento Kings game. That same night, demonstrators also protested on Interstate 5, disrupting traffic.

Protests continued on Friday as the crowd walked to the Capitol while holding their cellphones up and chanting, “Black lives matter.”

Clark’s family is now a member of a group that no one wants to join: Black families that have lost their children to police brutality. This group appears to be growing gradually each year as it seems that steps taken when using guns start with shooting first and asking later.

Clark was mercilessly shot 20 times and was still handcuffed after shooting him. The two involved police officers did not mention who they were until after they had shot him down.

A  vast majority of hate crimes are targeted towards people of color with specifically 53 percent of these crimes are directed towards black people, according to an article on Everytown.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man charged with nine killings at a Charleston church in 2015, was calmly taken into custody and then taken to Burger King for a meal. The NRA was silent when Philando Castile, a lawfully armed black man, was killed by police in his car with his family inside in 2016. If you are not angry, you are not listening.

If you are upset about NFL players kneeling, you are not listening. The murders of black men like Clark is the reason why Colin Kaepernick began to kneel, to protest; to protest the people who have lost their lives in incidents that could have been prevented.

There is this underlying tone where marginalized groups are vulnerable to a society when they see a black man as a threat instead of a victim of gun violence.

Even if Clark was running from the police, that does not mean he was punishable by death as evading arrest is a misdemeanor in the state of California.

Law enforcement must be willing to be a part of the solution. There needs to be engagement and trust, but in order for that, police should be held accountable for their actions.

Young people are demanding change for those affected by gun violence and racism. People will walk on Saturday for Parkland survivors, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Pulse survivors, Trayvon Martin and others affected. People should understand that when black lives matter, we will all benefit. It is time to end systematic eradication of African American men.

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Stephon Clark should be alive