Sheriff’s vehicle hits woman during Stephon Clark protest in Sacramento
A woman protesting last month’s fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark was hit by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department vehicle Saturday evening that allegedly drove away from the scene.
The woman sustained minor injuries after she was hit by the patrol vehicle around 8:40 p.m., Sacramento Sheriff’s Department said in a news statement on Sunday. Police said the woman was hit while the vehicle was “traveling at slow speeds.”
“During the incident, the Sheriff’s Department vehicle sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window. The damage to the vehicle was not a result of the collision involving the pedestrian but was caused by vandals in the crowd,” police said in a statement.
The Sheriff’s deputies were driving in two separate cars when the group of protesters surrounded the vehicles. An officer inside the police vehicle is heard shouting at the protesters through a loudspeaker to “back away from the vehicle,” before the woman was struck.
Video footage posted by FOX40 Sacramento captured the tense scene leading up to the collision. As a police SUV lurches through a hostile crowd, a sign-carrying woman crosses in front of the vehicle motioning for the driver to stop. The SUV then accelerates and hits the woman who falls to the ground. Screams are heard in the wake of the collision.
Guy Danilowitz, a Sacramento-based legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, told the Sacramento Bee that the “vehicle just sped off. It was a hit-and-run,” and that the drivers “didn’t even stop to see how she was doing.” Sunday’s statement from the police did not mention the officer leaving the scene.
Police said the protesters that surrounded the vehicles began “yelling while pounding and kicking the vehicles’ exterior” prior to the incident.
Traffic in all directions was shut down. A group of protesters reportedly assembled across the street from the nearby Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department station, chanting “Hit and run!,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said Sunday it will be conducting an internal review of the incident.