Shots to Kill Unarmed Black Suspect in USA
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 24, 2018,
Mar 24, 2018, 18:19
Stephon Clark was shot and killed Sunday night in his grandmother's Sacramento backyard by officers who believed he was pointing a gun at them, according to police. "He was shot so many times, so many times", said Clark's grandmother Sequita Thompson.
The officers had seen Clark "advance forward with his arms extended and holding an object", which they believed was a gun, before they opened fire 20 times, police said.
She commended the Sacramento Police Department for quickly releasing helicopter and body camera footage of the shooting, but said the graphic and widely seen videos had compounded feelings of anger and sorrow. The protests were orderly and police allowed a group of demonstrators to march onto Interstate 5 at the height of the commuter rush hour as they blocked all southbound lanes.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said that one was a two-year veteran of the force and that the other a four-year veteran. "I also wanted to say that we at the Kings recognize people's abilities to protest peacefully and we respect that".
The interview will air on LNT at 11 p.m. along with coverage from Liz Kreutz and Frances Wang at the Golden 1 Center.
The Clark video's relatively quick release came as the result of policy changes implemented after the 2016 shooting of Mann, a black man said to suffer from mental illness.
"I know there could have been another way", Clark's brother Stevante told CBS News. In the air, a police helicopter zoned in on someone running south, then hopping a fence.
The city enacted a regulation which has been in place since 2014 that required police to release footage no later than 30 days after an officer kills a citizen.
Sacramento police and the president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association could not be reached on Friday. One of the two officers involved in the shooting responded by stating that Clark was holding "something in his hands that looked like a gun from our perspective".
"We are looking into every aspect of this tragic killing, how this young man was executed in his backyard, especially in light of the fact that he had no gun", Crump said.
After a few minutes, speaking to the still body, an officer shouts, "Hey, can you hear us?"
From the perspective of the body cameras, the overgrown grass obscured most of Clark's body on ground.
The names of the officers - who fired a combined 20 rounds - at Clark, 22, in his own backyard, have not yet been released. No attempt was made by the officers to administer first aid until additional officers arrived on the scene where they then handcuffed his corpse before performing CPR. After Clark was shot, police waited almost six minutes for backup before administering CPR.
"There are a variety of reasons why officers have the opportunity to mute their body-worn cameras", Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler told the Sacramento Bee. "They are going to have to justify repeatedly shooting", he said.
Prior to the start of the National Basketball Association game, demonstrators brought awareness to Clark's death and police violence toward black people by demonstrating on the Sacramento highway, Interstate 5 and Sacramento's City Hall. "I think I shot about five times", one said.