An activist at a Sacramento demonstration protesting the police killing of an unarmed black man in his grandmother’s backyard was struck and injured by a Sheriff’s Department vehicle late Saturday as law enforcement officials tried to pass through the crowd.
The Sacramento Bee and The State Hornet newspapers identified the activist as Wanda Cleveland, 61. The Bee described Ms. Cleveland as a regular attendee at City Council meetings. It said she was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and released early Sunday.
“He never even stopped,” the newspaper quoted Ms. Cleveland as saying. “It was a hit-and-run. If I did that I’d be charged.”
Sgt. Kevin Jordan of the Sheriff’s Department said he could not confirm that someone had been hit.
But videos posted on Twitter show sheriff’s vehicles, surrounded by crowds protesting the shooting death last month of Stephon Clark, moving slowly through the crowd as someone urges repeatedly on a megaphone, “Back away from my vehicle.”
As the first car creeps forward, a second appears to follow quickly in its wake, striking someone who falls to the ground. A video from ABC10 News in Sacramento showed the impact.
The California Highway Patrol said a pedestrian “who may have been a protester” was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
A spokesman for the patrol’s South Sacramento office, Officer Michael Bradley, said it was investigating a collision that occurred around 9:30 p.m. outside the city limits near the corner of Florin Road and 65th Street. No further details were released.
Some Twitter users suggested that the second vehicle had sped up in order to hit a protester and then failed to stop.
Crowds in Sacramento, California’s capital, have rallied almost daily since Mr. Clark was shot and killed on March 18. They have urged the firing of the two officers involved, who have been put on administrative leave.
Mr. Clark, 22, died after he was shot eight times by police officers sent to investigate reports that someone was breaking car windows. The Sacramento Police Department initially said Mr. Clark had “advanced toward the officers” while holding what they believed to be a firearm.
An independent autopsy commissioned by Mr. Clark’s family and released on Friday found that most of the shots that struck him were in his back, raising questions about the police account.
The police that night were relying in part on personnel who were in a Sheriff’s Department helicopter that hovered above, and who at one point reported that the suspect had picked up a crowbar.
The officers eventually spotted Mr. Clark, who appears to have run into his grandmother’s backyard.
After he was killed, the police found no weapon, only a cellphone, in his possession.
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