Stevante Clark has been at the forefront of social and Legislative change in Sacramento since his brother Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento Police in 2018, which led to widespread protests. No charges were filed against two officers.
On Tuesday, a Minnesota jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd, whose death last summer set off protests around the country. Clark says the verdict against Chauvin is an initial step, but there’s more work to be done.
CapRadio State Government Reporter Scott Rodd spoke to Clark in downtown Sacramento shortly after the verdicts were handed down.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
On his feelings after the verdict
I've said numerous times slow progress is better than no progress. I've always said that Derek Chauvin was in the courtroom, but America is on trial. And I've always said as well there's a difference between justice and accountability. We are still fighting for justice. We just seen accountability. But not on all levels, on some levels. The jury did the right thing with the guilty charges. My family's excited because we believe this is progress. ... This is moving forward. We hate that this happened to George Floyd. We hate this happened to Daunte Wright. We hate it happening to my brother Stephon. But any time you get a small justice with George Floyd, it's a small justice for Daunte, a small justice for Stephon. Because it shows that you cannot keep killing us and getting away with it. If you keep doing that, cops will testify against you. Your own people will go against you. The community will protest in the streets. Lawmakers will call you out. And you will be held accountable.
On if he feels there's a connection between the push for justice for Stephon Clark and George Floyd
Stephon, the way we fought for justice here in Sacramento. I was just out in Minnesota with the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright. And I tell you firsthand, the work that we've been able to do, they're channeled all the way in Minnesota from Sacramento. The way I know is because as soon as I touched down in Minnesota to be with the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright, the conversation on the ground with the activists were actionable items. I'd met with NAACP and all types of groups out there. We were talking about actionable items. I was saying that in three years we got Stephon Clark law, Stephon Clark house, Stephon Clark LCCs and a whole lot of stuff. But we still haven't got justice. One of our actionable items is to obtain justice, not just the stuff around it. And I think that what we've taught the nation, if anything, is actionable items. We taught the nation that you can't just protest without actionable items.
On what he wants to see happen next
The action item first for me would be to have the dialog with law enforcement. Number one, bridge the gap between law enforcement and at-risk communities. We have to have a dialog first because we have to have the dialog. Number two, I believe we need to do more in informing and educating the people on policy and legislative change. Number three, I believe providing resources and healing spaces. We need the resources and healing spaces for those in our community to receive recommendations from the community on how to prevent Stephons and Georges and Daunte Wrights from ever happening again. In my last item, which I think my most important is spreading the gospel of love. Everybody love everybody.
On what he learned visiting with the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright
One thing I wanted to let them know … was welcome to a club, first off, nobody wants to be a part of. Second thing I learned from those families is that ... I learned that when Daunte died Stephon died all over again. I learned that, as much as I keep fighting and moving and I try to distance myself from all this, as soon as I look that my mother in her eyes, no matter what mother, I'm there. I never figured that out until I was able to meet with the families more often like I do now.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.