Family releases Stephon Clark autopsy results
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/30/18, 03:18 pm
UPDATE: An autopsy commissioned by the family of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed March 18 by police in Sacramento, Calif., showed he had five gunshot wounds in his back, one in the back of his neck, and one in his side. Pathologist Bennet Omalu said at a news conference Friday that any one of those wounds would have been fatal, and death would have taken three to 10 minutes. Clark also had a gunshot wound to the thigh that Omalu said occurred as he fell or lay on the ground. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family, said the findings showed Clark was not a threat to the police at the time he was killed. Officials with the city of Sacramento have not commented on the outside autopsy nor released results from the coroner’s postmortem examination.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (11:58 a.m.): Protests calling for police reforms after the death of Stephon Clark persisted Thursday but remained peaceful in Sacramento, Calif. Clark, 22, was shot by police on March 18. Officers were pursuing a vandalism suspect in the neighborhood when they stopped Clark, who was unarmed, at his grandmother’s back door. They fired 20 shots at him thinking he had a gun but later discovered he was holding a cellphone instead. Clark’s brother, 25-year-old Stevante Clark, has emerged as a leader of the protests. At a Tuesday night Sacramento City Council meeting, he stormed the dais and led protesters in chanting his brother’s name. He also told Mayor Darrell Steinberg to shut up and yelled obscenities. In a television interview the next day, Stevante Clark apologized for his behavior: “I couldn’t imagine someone disrespecting me like that in front of my family. He’s a grown man. He deserves respect.” Clark also called on protesters not to block fans from entering the Sacramento Kings basketball game for a third time on Thursday night. At his brothers crowded funeral Thursday, Clark came forward and hugged and kissed the casket and began another chant of his brother’s name. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave the eulogy, told the crowd not to judge how families grieve: “This brother could be any one of us, so let them express and grieve.” On Thursday, Mayor Steinberg told PBS News Hour that the city would not rush to judgment about whether the officers who shot Clark followed department policy, “but it’s a whole another thing to ask whether the protocols and the trainings themselves need to be corrected. And we’re going to be very, very aggressive about this, because, regardless of whether or not there … will be legal culpability here, the outcome was just plain wrong.” Attorney Benjamin Crump said the Clark family plans to release the results of an independent autopsy of Stephon Clark’s body on Friday.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email