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

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:


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.