Investigations underway after sheriff’s vehicle hits protester at Stephon Clark rally

Investigations are underway after sheriff’s vehicle hit a demonstrator attending a candlelight vigil for Stephon Clark in South Sacramento.


A demonstrator attending a candlelight vigil for Stephon Clark in South Sacramento on Saturday night was struck by a sheriff’s vehicle as protesters began marching in the streets.

The injured woman, local activist Wanda Cleveland, was released from a hospital early Sunday morning with bruises to her arm and back of her head, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Early Sunday, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department released a statement saying “the collision occurred while the patrol vehicle was traveling at slow speeds,” adding that the woman suffered minor injuries.


The statement from sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton also said the vehicle had scratches, dents and a shattered rear window caused by “vandals in the crowd.”

Cleveland, who regularly attends Sacramento City Council meetings, told the Bee that the patrol vehicle was accelerating and “never even stopped” before hitting her knee and knocking her to the ground.

“It was a hit and run. If I did that, I’d be charged,” she told the paper. “It’s disregard for human life.”

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, and the Sheriff’s Department has begun an internal review, Hampton said.

The incident capped a week of protest marches and demonstrations over the police shooting of Clark, which has drawn national media attention. Clark was fatally shot by two Sacramento police officers in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18 as they pursued a vandal in his neighborhood.

Clark, 22, was shot eight times, including six in the back, an independent autopsy concluded. He was found with only a cellphone. No weapon was recovered.

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9:30 a.m.: This article was updated with new information about the woman hit by a sheriff’s vehicle.

8:30 a.m.: This article has been updated with sheriff, CHP probes.

4:05 a.m.: Updated with the sheriff’s statement.

This article was first published at 11:30 p.m., March 31.