A woman attending the candlelight vigil held for Stephon Clark on Saturday evening (March 31) in Sacramento was reportedly hit by a sheriff’s car.
The incident was caught on video obtained by CNN. The woman was carrying a sign reading “Stephon Clark Rest in Power” and crossing in front of the vehicle while motioning the driver to stop.
Before the collision, the deputy inside the SUV was captured telling her to “back away from my car” before accelerating and striking her. She was later identified as Wanda Cleveland, taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries.
A witness says the incident was no accident and that the sheriff sped off afterward. “The vehicle just sped off. It was a hit and run,” said Guy Danilowitz, a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild. He was also the one who shot the video. “They didn’t even stop to see how she was doing.”
After the incident, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department released a statement deflecting what had happened and claimed damage done to the SUV didn’t result from hitting a vigil attendee.
"The collision occurred while the patrol vehicle was traveling at slow speeds," the statement said while claiming the vehicle "sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window" due to vandalism and not the collision itself. An investigation is reportedly underway into the incident. No conclusion about what happened from officials has yet been released.
See the video of the woman being struck by the sheriff’s SUV here.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images