Stephon Alonzo Clark, 22, was shot and killed by Sacramento police in his grandparents’ backyard on Sunday, March 18. Police claim they thought Clark was holding a gun, however, he was merely holding his cell phone. 20 shots were fired in total.
On Wednesday, March 21, the Sacramento Police Department released the video footage of Clark’s death. According to reports, police were responding to a call about a suspect who had broken into several vehicles and was hiding in a backyard. The SPD said the black male suspect was seen breaking into at least three vehicles in the neighbor and was later seen breaking into a home.
The body camera video released by Sacramento police shows two officers firing 20 shots at Clark. The officers can be heard asking Clark to show his hands before yelling “gun, gun, gun” and proceeding to fire.
Warning: the below footage can be considered graphic & disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
via USA Today:
The police department also released video Wednesday from a Sacramento Sheriff’s Department helicopter. Neither the body camera videos nor the helicopter video clearly depict what the man was doing in the moments before the police fired. The man turned out to be holding a cellphone and no gun was found.
“Based on the videos alone, I cannot second guess the split-second decisions of our officers and I’m not going to do that,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a statement. “The investigation must be completed. We need more information in addition to the video before we can render any final conclusions.”
The shooting happened in the backyard of the man’s grandparents’ home, where he was staying, after police said he refused orders to stop and show his hands. Thompson said she was inside her home Sunday when she heard gunshots coming from her backyard.
However, she never thought those bullets were going toward her grandson. It wasn’t until several hours later that Thompson said a detective came to her door and asked to see photos of her grandchildren.
The Sacramento Police Department did not say how many times Clark was hit and the coroner’s office would not release further information until Clark’s family was notified. The SPD said the two officers — who have yet to be identified — have been with Sacramento police for two and four years, but each has four years’ previous experience with other law enforcement agencies. Both officers have be placed on paid administrative leave.
Clark leaves behind a girlfriend, Salena Manni, and two children, Aiden and Ciaro.