Police shooting decision sparks protests
by Kent Covington
Posted 3/04/19, 10:30 am
Angry protests erupted in Sacramento, Calif., over the weekend after authorities announced two police officers will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black man. Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet shot 22-year-old Stephon Clark following a foot chase last March. They pursued Clark through a neighborhood and confronted him in his grandmother’s backyard, where they mistook his cellphone for a handgun and shot him numerous times. One of the officers involved is white, and the other is African-American.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said authorities investigated for nearly a year to determine whether the officers committed a crime. “When we look at the facts and the law, and we follow our ethical responsibilities, the answer to that question is no,” she said, adding that official autopsy results and police body camera footage suggest the officers acted lawfully.
Clark’s family obtained a separate autopsy, which they say contradicts the county’s findings. “It was homicide, and they should be charged,” Stephon’s mother, SeQuette Clark, told reporters. “I’m praying that the attorney general will pick up where she failed.”
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in January seeking more than $20 million from the city and officers, claiming Clark was a victim of racial profiling.
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