Sacramento police officers shot and killed a black man in his grandmother’s backyard because they believed he was pointing a gun at them, police said. But investigators say they did not find a weapon at the scene, only a cell phone near the man’s body.
The fatal shooting of Stephon Clark on Sunday night was recorded by two officers’ body cameras and from a police helicopter; that footage was released Wednesday.
The videos show a brief encounter between police and Clark, lasting less than a minute, from the moment one of the officers spotted him in the driveway and yelled, “Hey, show me your hands. Stop. Stop.”
In the dark, the two police officers chased Clark into the backyard of his grandmother’s home.
Backing up, behind the corner, one of the cops was heard shouting ‘Gun! Gun! Gun!’ and shouted once ‘Show me your hands’, before his partner yelled: ‘Get ’em, get ’em get ’em.’
Almost immediately, they both opened fire, reigning down a hail of 20 bullets in a matter of seconds. As Clark lay dying on the ground, the officers yelled at him to ‘show me your hands!’At no time in the clip were they heard to identify themselves as police officers.
As backup arrived, one of the officers says he thought that Clark had a weapon.
‘He came up, and then he kind of approached us hands out, and then he fell down,’ one of the officers said as fellow cops called out to Clark, to ask if he could move.
Police have said the officers fired only because they thought their lives were at stake, but we all know this is not the case, no weapon has been sighted with Clark, the officers did not identify themselves, and they both fired more than 20 rounds in few seconds
As more police arrived at the scene, someone is heard asking “What did he have on him?”
An officer responded, “Like this, something in his hands. It looked like a gun from our perspective.”
Minutes after the shooting, as more officers arrive on the scene, a voice is heard saying, “Hey, mute,” and the audio on the body camera cuts off. Apparently they didn’t want the public to hear what they are saying to each other.
Sequita Thompson recounts the horror of seeing her grandson Stephon Clark dead in her backyard after he was shot by police in Sacramento.
Clark’s grandmother said she was inside the house when the shots were fired and saw him with an iPhone.
“He was right there dead. I told the officers, you guys are murderers, murderers, murderers,” she told the Sacramento Bee.
Police account of the shooting
The incident began on Sunday after 9 p.m., when Sacramento officers responded to a report that a man had broken car windows and was hiding in a backyard. The man was described as 6-foot-1, thin and wearing a black hoodie and pants.
Officers arrived and were aided by a team in a Sacramento Sheriff’s Department helicopter. Police said the helicopter personnel observed that the suspect had picked up a “toolbar” and broken a window to a residence.
The helicopter team observed the man running and looking into another car, police said. The helicopter then guided officers to the man’s location in the backyard of a home.
The camera from the helicopter showed a man running through a backyard and hopping a fence into another yard. The aerial footage captured the moment when two officers began heading towards him.
Officers arrived at the front yard and gave the man commands to stop and show his hands, according to police. The man immediately fled to the backyard, police said, and they pursued him.
Police bodycam footage captured the moment that officers turned round the corner of a house, where they came across Clark.
At that point, the man “turned and advanced toward the officers while holding an object” extended in front of him, according to police.
“The officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them. Fearing for their safety, the officers fired their duty weapons, striking the suspect multiple times,” the police news release states.
The police in America is so fucked up that they automatically believe a black man is holding a weapon and deserve to die. They have not confirmed if he had a weapon or not but they are so happy to shoot a fellow human being 20 times for holding an I-phone.
The officers fired 20 times at Clark and he was hit multiple times, the officers killed him instantly, then handcuffed his dead body and began life-saving bullshit efforts, according to police. Clerk was pronounced dead at the scene.
Outrage and Scepticism about police version of event in the neighbourhood
Clerk’s death has caused outrage among residents who say that the officers should be held accountable for his death. And they are right to think and demand that, the young father of two was gunned down in his own backyard based on an officer’s assumption. One of the officer shouted Gun! Gun! without seeing a gun and they fired 20 times, that is not to demobilise but to kill him outright.
In the aftermath ‘No gun and no ‘toolbar’ was ever found, but police investigators only recovered a cellphone next to Clerk.’
Stevante Clark, the victim’s brother, told HLN that his brother “wasn’t a thief.”
“He was arrested before, but he’s been different lately, he really changed his life. He was a people-person who everybody wanted to be around. We came from underprivileged, broken homes, but he didn’t care about nothing else but his kids.”
My priority right now wasn’t a possible lawsuit or body camera footage, but focusing on Clark’s two young children.”I just want to make sure his kids go to school, my mom is good, and he gets buried in a way where we don’t have to worry — the nicest funeral,” he said.
Himself and his mother did not plan to watch body camera video of his brother’s shooting, but he expressed skepticism about the police version of what happened.
“They said he had a gun. Then they said he had a crowbar. Then they said he had a toolbar. Now I’m asking you, you’ve got a nice job, you sound pretty smart. What is a toolbar?” he said.
Rev. Al Sharpton has pledged his support for Clark’s family and said he would be in California to help them fight for justice, according to a statement from his organization.