SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento police shot Stephon Clark seven times from behind, according to autopsy results released Friday by a pathologist hired by Clark’s family, the findings call into question the department’s assertion that the 22-year-old black man was confronted by officers and walk toward them, when he was killed.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose study of a degenerative brain disease in football players asked the NFL to adopt new safety rules designed to prevent concussions, also determined Clark took up to 10 minutes to die.
Police, concerned Clark could live and armed, waited about five minutes to approach him after the shooting in his grandmother’s backyard. Clark was not armed; the police apparently mistook a mobile phone in his hand is a gun.
“The point is that he was confronted by officers is inconsistent with the current forensic evidence,” Omalu said at a press conference with the family attorney Benjamin Crump.
He said that it was not clear whether Clark would have survived had he received immediate medical attention, and he noticed that one of the six bullets that hit him in the back and in the neck could be the fatal shot. An eighth bullet went into Clark’s thigh.
Sacramento police responded in a short statement, which said that the department has not yet received the official report from the Sacramento County coroner’s office. She noted that the coroner the death of the research is independent of the research being conducted by the police and the Ministry of Justice.
The shooting occurred March 18. Two officers respond to a call of someone breaking car windows shouted that Clark had a gun for the blast.
Video released by the police of night shooting shows officers on the corner of Clark’s grandma’s house, and him on the patio. It is unclear if Clark kent, the officials are there. He moves in the direction of the officers’ position as they peer around the corner and open fire. Clark tilts to the side and falls on his stomach as officers continue shooting. Twenty shots in all were fired, police said.
The shooting has produced almost daily angry but peaceful protests in the heart of California’s capital city.
On Thursday, hours after making an emotional break at his brother’s funeral, Stevante Clark helped defuse tension by asking the protesters not to block thousands of fans entering a downtown NBA arena for a third night.
The police in riot gear stood waiting outside the Golden 1 Center fans wove through the barricades and screens for entering a Sacramento Kings-Indiana Pacers game. But protesters never came, to respond to the calls of Stevante Clark and Black Lives Matter organizers to prevent the arena. Instead, they blocked rush-hour traffic on the nearby streets of the centre.
The supply of Stephon Clark’s eulogy on Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton praised the protesters for their restraint and urged them to follow the lead of ds. Martin Luther King Jr. and his advocacy of nonviolent protest.
“I want people in California to know that there is nothing wrong with how these young people are,” he thundered. “They are not violent, they ask for you to stop violent to them.”
More than 500 people packed into the church to celebrate Stephon Clark’s life, and thought of his dance moves, intelligence, and love for his two young sons.
Stevante Clark interrupted the musical and scriptural celebration by hugging and kissing the casket, leading the crowd in chanting the name of his brother, thumps his chest and screamed. Others on the stage tried to calm him down, with limited success.
Sharpton hugged and comforted him, and said to the crowd not to judge how families grieve.
“This brother can be one of us, so let them express and grieve,” Sharpton said. “We are proud of them for standing up for justice.”
Turning the focus on the national level, Sharpton and others punished President Donald Trump for not responding to police shootings of young black men. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the Clark shooting, and demurred, referring to it as a local problem.
The Kings and their owner are in favour of the Clark family.
West Sacramento resident Onyeabo Aduba, 33, said he has reservations cancelled Thursday at a restaurant near the arena for his girlfriend’s birthday because of the protests. But Aduba said that he has the support of the Black Lives Matter movement and is frustrated that efforts, such as requiring police to wear body cameras don’t really change.
Associated Press reporters Kathleen Ronayne and Daley in Sacramento, John Antczak and Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed.