California cops fatally shoot unarmed Stephon Clark in his own yard

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By VT

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According to The Guardian, young black men are nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers, and last year, 23 per cent of all people who were fatally shot by police were black.

To humanise such statistics, we have yet another report of a life tragically lost.

This weekend, police in Sacramento, California, searching for someone reported to have been breaking windows, fatally shot a 22-year-old black man after he walked towards them carrying what they believed to be a firearm.
When examining the body, however, the only object found was a cellphone.

This was the explanation that the Sacramento Police Department offered on Tuesday when updating the public on the investigation into the shooting of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, on Sunday.

After receiving calls that someone in the neighbourhood was breaking car windows, police dispatched a helicopter to the area near Clark's home. The helicopter promptly started following the 22-year-old's movements, with the crew stating that they had seen a black man break the sliding glass door of a home before jumping a fence into another residence.

At around 9:30pm, two officers confronted Clark outside the property where he lived with his two young children and his grandparents. They alleged that he came towards them with an object in his hand.

Officers began firing at Clark after "fearing for their safety". The two officers both fired 10 shots at Clark, although it is not clear how many times he was struck, according to The Sacramento Bee.

"Prior to the shooting, the involved officers saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands," the Sacramento Police Department said in an updated press release on Tuesday. "At the time of the shooting, the officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them. After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms. The only item found near the suspect was a cell phone."

Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Clark's grandmother, Sequita Thompson, said "The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground." Thompson allegedly crawled to her 7-year-old granddaughter, and told her to lie on the grounds as shots were being fired. 

According to the original press release, the two officers held their position for about five minutes after shooting Clark, a father-of-two, until more officers arrived. They then handcuffed Clark and proceeded with lifesaving efforts. He was pronounced dead at the scene by fire department personnel.

The Sacramento Bee has reported that both officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras, and there is also video and audio footage from the sheriff's helicopter. In line with official city policy, officials are planning to make the material public within 30 days of the March 18th fatality. Since then, the officers in question have been put on paid administrative leave - a decision which is in accordance with department policy, according to the updated press release.

The shooting has prompted an outcry on social media, and a GoFundMe has been set up to help Clark's grandmother pay for his funeral.

Bernice King took to Twitter to write, "Some will try to reason; there is no humane reason," while activist, Shaun King, compared this incident with the arrest of the Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof, who was captured alive, and given food from Burger King by police officers.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/976445183901491200]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/BerniceKing/status/976431621820878853]]

Stephon Clark leaves behind two sons, aged one and three. "He would never want to leave his kids," his girlfriend of five years, Salena Manni, told ABC News. "I have to wake up every morning to my kids asking me, ‘Where’s Daddy? Let’s go get Daddy.'"

California cops fatally shoot unarmed Stephon Clark in his own yard

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

According to The Guardian, young black men are nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers, and last year, 23 per cent of all people who were fatally shot by police were black.

To humanise such statistics, we have yet another report of a life tragically lost.

This weekend, police in Sacramento, California, searching for someone reported to have been breaking windows, fatally shot a 22-year-old black man after he walked towards them carrying what they believed to be a firearm.
When examining the body, however, the only object found was a cellphone.

This was the explanation that the Sacramento Police Department offered on Tuesday when updating the public on the investigation into the shooting of the unarmed man, Stephon Clark, on Sunday.

After receiving calls that someone in the neighbourhood was breaking car windows, police dispatched a helicopter to the area near Clark's home. The helicopter promptly started following the 22-year-old's movements, with the crew stating that they had seen a black man break the sliding glass door of a home before jumping a fence into another residence.

At around 9:30pm, two officers confronted Clark outside the property where he lived with his two young children and his grandparents. They alleged that he came towards them with an object in his hand.

Officers began firing at Clark after "fearing for their safety". The two officers both fired 10 shots at Clark, although it is not clear how many times he was struck, according to The Sacramento Bee.

"Prior to the shooting, the involved officers saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands," the Sacramento Police Department said in an updated press release on Tuesday. "At the time of the shooting, the officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them. After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms. The only item found near the suspect was a cell phone."

Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Clark's grandmother, Sequita Thompson, said "The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground." Thompson allegedly crawled to her 7-year-old granddaughter, and told her to lie on the grounds as shots were being fired. 

According to the original press release, the two officers held their position for about five minutes after shooting Clark, a father-of-two, until more officers arrived. They then handcuffed Clark and proceeded with lifesaving efforts. He was pronounced dead at the scene by fire department personnel.

The Sacramento Bee has reported that both officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras, and there is also video and audio footage from the sheriff's helicopter. In line with official city policy, officials are planning to make the material public within 30 days of the March 18th fatality. Since then, the officers in question have been put on paid administrative leave - a decision which is in accordance with department policy, according to the updated press release.

The shooting has prompted an outcry on social media, and a GoFundMe has been set up to help Clark's grandmother pay for his funeral.

Bernice King took to Twitter to write, "Some will try to reason; there is no humane reason," while activist, Shaun King, compared this incident with the arrest of the Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof, who was captured alive, and given food from Burger King by police officers.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/976445183901491200]]
[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/BerniceKing/status/976431621820878853]]

Stephon Clark leaves behind two sons, aged one and three. "He would never want to leave his kids," his girlfriend of five years, Salena Manni, told ABC News. "I have to wake up every morning to my kids asking me, ‘Where’s Daddy? Let’s go get Daddy.'"