NBA Star Says Stephon Clark Shooting Taught His Kids About Police Brutality

Matt Barnes, who played for the Sacramento Kings before retiring, spoke to demonstrators on Saturday.

People pay their respects after the funeral for Stephon Clark, who was shot to death by Sacramento police.Renee C. Byer/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

One day after a private autopsy on Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man killed by police in Sacramento on March 18, contradicted the police account of the shooting, National Basketball Association star Matt Barnes told a crowd of demonstrators on Saturday that the killing had provided a teachable moment for his children. Barnes, who played for the Sacramento Kings and other teams before his retirement, spoke at a demonstration for Clark at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento. Barnes heard the news of Clark’s death when he was with his twin sons.

He told the crowd that one of his sons asked, “Daddy, he got shot 20 times for holding a cell phone?”

“Yeah,” Barnes responded.

“Some cops are bad,” his son said.

Barnes, who has given financial support to the Clark family, recalled, “I had to pause for a second, because the emotion of me wanted to say, ‘Yes.'”

Watch this clip from his speech here, from ABC10’s Daniela Pardo:


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend