Stephon Clark’s brother once interrupted the Sacramento City Council. Now he wants to lead it

Posted at 2:25 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 16:25:53-05

The older brother of Stephon Clark, the man killed by Sacramento police in his grandmother’s back yard, has filed paperwork to raise money for a 2020 mayoral run, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The window for Stevante Clark, 25, to officially declare his candidacy for office has not opened, but the filing creates a committee through which he can begin accepting donations.

Stevante Clark was a vocal critic of police after his brother was killed March 18. Two officers pursuing a vandal shot Stephon Clark, 22, eight times after a foot chase, saying they thought he pointed a gun at them.

Investigators determined Stephon Clark was actually carrying a phone. Protests erupted around the city.

Stevante Clark jumped onto a dais, and into the headlines, days later when he led a protest into a Sacramento City Council meeting and urged demonstrators to chant his brother’s name louder. He also directed some choice — and NSFW — words toward Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

“The mayor and the city of Sacramento has failed all of you,” he said, reeling off a litany of what he felt were problems in the city. “Now the mayor wants to talk to me. The chief of police got my brother killed. He doesn’t care. He shows no emotion at all, and y’all get mad at me for not crying on the news.”

The mayor adjourned the meeting early, citing safety concerns.

Stevante Clark later said he owed Steinberg an apology, and in a September Facebook post shared a photo of him and the mayor meeting.

CNN could not immediately reach Clark for comment, but he spoke to CNN affiliate KTXL about his campaign and platform.

“I’m for the people. I’m with the people,” he said, adding that police reform will be on the agenda. “That’s what we will be focusing on, a lot on police training.”

Other priorities will include sex trafficking, rent prices, homelessness and the Clark Family Act, which among other initiatives, would tap former gang members to mentor youth, he said, according to KTXL.

Asked about the optics of his City Council protest, and about his April arrest on accusations that he destroyed his roommate’s belongings and threatened a woman with a weapon, Clark said he hopes people understand that grief was behind his behavior.

(In the April case, a judge reduced the charges against him and released him from jail under the condition that Clark had to stay away from the woman he was accused of threatening, CNN affiliate KFOR reported.)

“I was never arrested until my brother died,” Clark told KTXL. “Me jumping on the mayor’s desk, I’ve apologized for that. … So if people see me jumping on the mayor’s desk and they don’t acknowledge my apology then I think that’s pretty one-sided.”

Steinberg, a former state senator, has also filed paperwork with the state for a 2020 re-election campaign.