The death of Stephon Clark: What we know about the Sacramento police shooting
iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Authorities are still investigating the police shooting of Stephon Clark, the unarmed 22-year-old black man who was killed by police in his grandmother’s Sacramento backyard earlier this month.
The shooting has sparked widespread protests in California and New York and responses from Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and the Sacramento Kings basketball team.
Here’s what we know about the shooting, according to information released by police:
- Two officers fired a total of 20 shots at Clark on March 18. The officers were responding to a 911 call reporting someone breaking car windows in the 7500 block of 29th street.
- A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter also responded to the 911 call.
- Deputies in the helicopter reported seeing a man armed with a “tool bar” in a nearby backyard and began directing the ground officers to that location.
- Police said officers believed Clark the object was a gun and fired, “fearing for their safety.” No gun was found at the scene. Police said the object was a cellphone. It was found near Clark’s body and taken into evidence.
- Each of the two officers involved in the shooting fired 10 shots, for a total of 20 shots fired, police say.
- The Sacramento Police Department released the body camera footage and helicopter footage three days after the shooting.
- California’s attorney general and the police department are conducting an investigation into what happened that night.
- The Clark family has hired Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney who has worked the families of police shooting victims Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.
- At his press conference, Crump asked for an independent autopsy to be conducted.
- The Sacramento Chapter of Black Lives Matter has had protests all week for Stephon Clark, with another one scheduled this afternoon.
- One demonstration outside of Golden 1 Center, where the Sacramento Kings play, last week caused a lengthy delay in a scheduled game and prevented fans from entering the arena.
- Kings players honored Stephon Clark before their game against the Boston Celtics on March 25, wearing T-shirts that read “ACCOUNTABILITY. WE ARE ONE.” On the back, there was a hashtag — #StephonClark –
- During a timeout, a unified public service announcement from Kings and Celtics players played on the JumboTron at Gold 1 Center in Sacramento.
- Many mourners were in attendance at the wake on Wednesday and more are expected for the funeral this afternoon.
- The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at today’s funeral.
Here’s what we don’t know about the shooting:
- It’s unclear how many of the 20 shots hit Clark
- It hasn’t been determined where the shots his Clark on his body.
- It’s unclear if Clark was responsible for the break-ins that were reported that night.
- According to the police report, authorities canvassed the neighborhood where the shooting happened and identified at least three vehicles with damages.
- The names of the officers have not been officially released by the police department due to death threats the officers have received.
- Shortly after the shooting both officers cut off the audio on their body cameras, for unknown reasons.
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