NBA Star Says Stephon Clark Shooting Taught His Kids About Police Brutality

Matt Barnes, who played for the Sacramento Kings before retiring, spoke to demonstrators on Saturday.

People pay their respects after the funeral for Stephon Clark, who was shot to death by Sacramento police.Renee C. Byer/ZUMA

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One day after a private autopsy on Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man killed by police in Sacramento on March 18, contradicted the police account of the shooting, National Basketball Association star Matt Barnes told a crowd of demonstrators on Saturday that the killing had provided a teachable moment for his children. Barnes, who played for the Sacramento Kings and other teams before his retirement, spoke at a demonstration for Clark at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento. Barnes heard the news of Clark’s death when he was with his twin sons.

He told the crowd that one of his sons asked, “Daddy, he got shot 20 times for holding a cell phone?”

“Yeah,” Barnes responded.

“Some cops are bad,” his son said.

Barnes, who has given financial support to the Clark family, recalled, “I had to pause for a second, because the emotion of me wanted to say, ‘Yes.'”

Watch this clip from his speech here, from ABC10’s Daniela Pardo:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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