During Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to comment on Clark’s death and the ensuing unrest in California’s capital, as well as Louisiana’s decision not to charge the two officers who killed Alton Sterling.
Although Donald Trump has weighed in on other violent incidents when the suspected perpetrator was an immigrant, person of color, or Muslim, he has yet to speak out about Clark’s death (or the victims of the Austin bombings). Sanders said it’s because it is a “local matter.”
“[It’s] certainly a terrible incident,” Sanders told reporters. “This is something that is a local matter and something that we feel should be left up to the local authorities at this point in time.”
According to video footage recorded by the officers’ body cameras, Clark was killed seconds after police encountered him in his grandparents’ yard. Although responding officers initially claimed they believe he had a gun, they learned Clark was holding a cell phone. Officers fired their weapons 20 times on the father of two.
On Tuesday, Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, and several protesters interrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting to demand justice for the slain young man.
“The mayor and the city of Sacramento has failed all of you,” Stevante Clark said, nothing the rising rents and the persistent violence in Sacramento. “Now the mayor wants to talk to me. The chief of police got my brother killed. He doesn’t care. He shows no emotion at all. And y’all get mad at me for not crying on the news.”
Yesterday, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced his office would oversee the investigation into Clark’s death to ensure it will be “based on the facts and the law – nothing less, nothing more.”