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Vigil Held In Naples For Stephon Clark

Quincy J Walters
Vigil-goers gathered at the water's edge next to the Naples Pier to have a moment of silence for Stephon Clark and other unarmed black men killed by police.

A crowd of about 30 people gathered on the beach next to the Naples Pier to remember Stephon Clark, a black man killed by the Sacramento Police Department last month. Officers said they thought he had a gun, but only a cell phone was found at the scene. 

The mostly-white crowd on the beach in Naples held white roses and signs that read "R.I.P. Stephon Clark". They chanted "Black lives matter" for a short time and let people speak on a bullhorn. 

Yudy Barbera, chairwoman of the Collier County Democratic Party, is Dominican. She said that with each police killing of an unarmed black man, she worries more about her son. 

"We are scared when our son leaves the house," Barbera said. "He's not going to be seen as a person, but as a criminal without any due process and that is not right." 

She said black lives matter and all lives matter

K.C. Shulberg, with the grassroots group Collier Freedom, said it's not lost on the group that the vigil's turnout wasn't very diverse. 

"We had a lot of discussions about whether we, as more privileged white people, should be taking over this cause," Shulberg said. "Are we overreaching?" 

That's why the group let Stefica Milor, a Naples High senior, take the reins of the gathering. She said she worries about what might happen if her brothers ever encounter law enforcement. 

She said often, in cases like Stephon Clark's, police say they fear for their lives. Milor listed off white mass killers who were not gunned down by police. 

"How did they not fear for their lives while in the presence of murderers, but feared for their lives in the presence of an innocent black man?" she asked. "It just doesn't make sense to me." 

As the sun set, the group stood at the ocean's edge for a moment of silence in honor of the multiple unarmed black men killed by police. 

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.
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