California Lawmaker Travis Allen Defends Police Killing Unarmed Black Man Stephon Clark
Republican California State Assemblyman Travis Allen defended police officers who killed an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, on March 18 in Sacramento, California.
Allen, who is running for governor, made his remarks during a candidate forum, on March 25, notes The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Allen claimed that Clark was breaking into cars, an allegation that has not been proven, before police killed him in his grandparents’ backyard:
Very simply, the man that was unfortunately shot in Sacramento, the reason this whole thing happened is he was breaking into cars.
He had smashed a couple of car windows because he was stealing from those cars, apparently. He was then chased by a helicopter and he ran from the police—
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa interrupted: “He was not breaking into cars.”
Clark’s family has disputed that Clark was breaking into cars, noted Reuters.
Despite a lack of evidence, Allen insisted that Clark was breaking into cars, which, if true, is not a death penalty offense:
Why don’t we reset my time. To the best of my understanding it is very clear that this individual was breaking into cars. When the police helicopter began to follow him, he then ran from police. When police finally apprehended him, he approached them with something in his hand.
Allen failed to mention that Clark was carrying a cell phone, but continued:
Listen, number one, this person should not have been breaking into cars and number two he should not have been running from the police. It had nothing to do with the color of his skin.
There is no police officer that wakes up in the morning and wants to shoot someone. We must back the badge, respect our law enforcement and understand that there are laws enforced by our police officers in California.
There have actually been police convicted for murder, which completely debunks Allen’s false claim: “There is no police officer that wakes up in the morning and wants to shoot someone.”
The Los Angeles Times noted Allen’s record in June 2017:
Allen has faced criticism for claiming that a new law that barred police from arresting people under 18 for soliciting sex or loitering with intent to commit prostitution was an effort to “legalize” child prostitution. The purpose of the law was to treat minors as victims of sex trafficking rather than offenders.