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Why the Stephon Clark shooting will become a campaign issue

The Stephon Clark shooting has sparked rallies and protests. It has been the focus of two emotional Sacramento City Council meetings, with another one planned this week.

But will Clark’s death also become a campaign issue this spring?

Candidates seeking local office in the June 5 election should be prepared to give their opinions on the conduct of the officers who shot Clark, veteran political consultants said. But candidates also should be ready to opine on police use-of-force policies and how to invest more in disadvantaged neighborhoods like Meadowview, where Clark was killed March 18.

“It’s the top issue in the community and it’s on everyone’s mind,” said political strategist Steve Maviglio.

Terry Schanz, chairman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, said he is hopeful the shooting becomes a defining issue in local campaigns.

“We’ve seen too many unarmed African Americans killed at the hands of law enforcement for too long in this country,” he said. “Now it’s happened in our backyard. I’m hopeful we’ll use the death of Stephon Clark as a means to make sure we are seeking out justice for the victims of gun violence.”