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Sacramento protesters upset over shooting of Stephon Clark delay NBA Kings game

Demonstrators enraged over the shooting of the unarmed father-of-two locked arms and blocked entry to the Kings' arena.

by Dennis Romero /  / Updated 
A Black Lives Matter protester wears a shirt with a photo of Stephon Clark during a demonstration on Thursday in Sacramento, California.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

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LOS ANGELES — Demonstrators enraged over the police shooting of an unarmed man shut down traffic on a Sacramento freeway Thursday and later blocked fans from attending a Kings game.

As a result of the protest, in which people locked arms and blocked the entrance to the Golden 1 Center, the NBA game between the Kings and the Atlanta Hawks was delayed nearly 20 minutes. Sacramento police tweeted Thursday night that "no one else will be admitted" to the game following the civil disobedience.

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Authorities on Wednesday released bodycam video that shows officers firing 20 rounds at Stephon Clark, 23, who was carrying a cellphone.

The footage appears to show police officers, guided by sheriff's department helicopter surveillance, chasing Clark through a neighborhood and into a fenced area behind a house. The officers shouted at Clark to stop and show his hands but did not audibly identify themselves as police.

The officers yelled "gun" before opening fire. "At the time of the shooting, the officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them," Sacramento police said in a statement.

The department said it was still reviewing footage of the incident that has not yet been released.

Related

A Twitter account affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement in Sacramento called for the protest of the police shooting of Clark, an African American father of two.

The Kings released a statement blaming police for the game delay. "Due to law enforcement being unable to ensure ticketed fans could safely enter the arena, the arena remains closed and we ask fans outside to travel home," the statement read. "We will issue further information soon regarding a refund."

Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé addressed the crowd after the game. He called the fatal shooting a "horrific, horrific tragedy."

"We recognize that it's not just business as usual," he said. "And we're going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting with our own community. And we're going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again."

Earlier in the day protesters shut down the 5 freeway and held signs that stated, "Justice for Stephon 'Zoe' Clark."

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