A sheriff’s deputy stands accused of running over a protester with his car during demonstrations over the death of an unarmed African-American man in Sacramento, California, after video emerged of the incident.
The incident occurred Saturday night during a tense protest over Stephon Clark, who was shot by police after they allegedly mistook an iPhone he was carrying for a gun.
Protests surrounding the March 18 police shooting intensified this weekend after an autopsy ordered by the family and released late last week concluded seven of the eight bullets that Clark took from police hit him in the back. Dr. Bennet Omalu’s autopsy also found that any of the shots would have been fatal.
In the video, obtained by a reporter with KXTV, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy can be heard warning protesters to move out of the way of his SUV before running over a 61-year-old protester.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC FOOTAGE THAT SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND DISTURBING
According to The Washington Post, the incident took place on Florin Road, a busy thoroughfare in the Californian capital. The video shows protesters surrounding the SUV chanting, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”
As the cruiser was surrounded, the police vehicle’s lights flashed and its sirens sounded. A second SUV arrivef behind the first one, presumably as backup.
“Back away from my vehicle,” the deputy in the first cruiser can be heard saying over the loudspeaker. After four warnings, the cruisers then began slowly moving forward and a woman from the crowd came in between the two vehicles.
The woman was hit in the leg by the second SUV, which moved on. The protester, 61-year-old Wanda Cleveland, was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Protesters, meanwhile, chanted “Hit and run!” after the police vehicle hit Cleveland.
— Ali Wolf (@awolfTV) April 1, 2018
According to Fox News, a statement by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident, saying it occurred while the vehicle was “traveling at slow speeds.”
“During the incident, the Sheriff’s Department vehicle sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window,” the statement said.
“The damage to the vehicle was not a result of the collision involving the pedestrian but was caused by vandals in the crowd,” it added.
The California Highway Patrol will be reviewing the matter. The deputy or deputies involved in the incident have yet to be named.
USA Today reported that Sacramento was “calm” on Easter Sunday after several nights of tense protests over Clark’s death. However, the Sacramento Black Lives Matter Facebook page has urged residents to “(b)e on the look out” for other events to come this week.
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