SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Hours after an emotional interruption at his brother’s funeral, Stevante Clark helped defuse tension in California’s capital city by asking protesters not to block thousands of fans from entering a downtown NBA arena for a third night.

Police in riot gear stood waiting outside the Golden 1 Center as fans wove through barricades and fencing Thursday to enter for a Sacramento Kings-Indiana Pacers game. But protesters never came, heeding calls from Stevante Clark and Black Lives Matter organizers to avoid the arena. Instead, they blocked rush hour traffic on nearby downtown streets.

The March 18 shooting of Stephon Clark, 22, by Sacramento police officers has sparked near daily protests downtown, with his name becoming a rallying cry for police reform in California and beyond.

Two officers responding to a call of someone breaking car windows shouted that Clark had a gun before firing 20 bullets at him, but he had only a cellphone. The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, will today release results of an independent autopsy.

Delivering Stephon Clark’s eulogy Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton praised demonstrators for their restraint and urged them to follow the lead of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his advocacy of nonviolent protest.



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