A ruptured Achilles tendon ended New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins’ season back in January, but recent reports indicate Cousins is still actively participating in the type of outreach efforts locals praised him for during his time with the Sacramento Kings. Cousins has reportedly offered to cover the funeral expenses of Stephon Clark after he was shot and killed by Sacramento police on March 18.
Clark became the latest unarmed, black citizen killed by law enforcement officials after police reportedly shot him up to 20 times in his grandmother’s yard. CNN and other news outlets reported the officers believed Clark was pointing a gun at them. Ultimately, no weapon was found on Clark, as he was only holding a phone.
By March 19, members of Clark’s family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover Clark’s expenses.
Before being traded to the Pelicans, Cousins' outreach efforts were routine during his nearly seven seasons with the Sacramento Kings.
“He paid for the funeral of Grant High School football player Jaulon “JJ” Clavo, who was shot before a playoff game in 2015,” reported Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “He held free basketball camps at Sacramento High School and bought a new scoreboard for the school's basketball gym.”
Sacramento protests related to Clark’s killing shut down Interstate 5 and delayed the start of a Kings-Hawks game Thursday, drawing a response from Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive and former Kings’ player Matt Barnes.
Thursday, Barnes posted a picture of Clark holding his daughter to his Instagram feed, asking anyone with information on Clark’s family to message him.
“Thoughts & prayers go out to Stephon Clark & his family! Another pointless killing this time in my hometown of Sacramento,” Barnes wrote in the caption of his post. “Who’s gonna be next..? Your brother, son, uncle, dad...? #RIPYoungKing. If anyone knows this family please DM me.”
Clark was 22-years-old. Per ABC, Sacramento Police Spokesperson Linda Matthews expects an investigation into Clark’s killing to take at least two months.