California Police Shoot Dead Unarmed Black Man in His Own Backyard

26 Marcha, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Misty Newman
  • CREDIT Getty Images

Update 5:45 p.m.

CNN reported that on Thursday, protesters marched down to Sacramento's City Hall demanding to see the city's first black police chief, Daniel Hahn.

Two officers, responding to a report of someone breaking vehicle windows, fatally shot Stephon Clark, 22, on Sunday night.

Concerns about proper police training and accountability led to chants of "Black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace" from dozens of protesters, who also repeated Clark's name to police in combat gear.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, the city's first black police chief, promised transparency and to work for better community relations since he took charge past year.

As a result, "their threat radar is really high", said Plumas County sheriff's deputy and special prosecutor Ed Obayashi, who trains officers and testifies in court on police use of force.

"He was a great dad", he said of Clark, the father of sons ages 1 and 3.

"It gives them a sense that his death will mean something", Simmons said.

Sacramento resident Vanessa Cullars said she has lost two family members to police violence.

"At this point, I don't think they can fire and be protected by the law", said Reichel.

In a news conference late Friday afternoon, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said while the investigation is far from complete, regardless of the outcome, this is wrong.

A department statement said that "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".

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Q: What do independent experts say about the videos? They went door to door looking for the suspect.

Obayashi said the officers' "threat radar is way high" after moving through backyards in pursuit of a suspect reported to have committed several unsafe felonies, including breaking into a home.

Police fired 20 times at Clark in his grandmother's backyard. As the officers run into a backyard, they turn a corner and spot Clark in the glare of their flashlights. "But that could be more the product of hope than reality", he said, with the officers still in shock and anxious about their own safety.

Officers said they were in the area responding to a report that someone was breaking auto windows, but authorities later revealed the only item Clark had on him was a cell phone. The helicopter then observed the suspect running south, towards the front of the residence, where he stopped and was looking into another auto.

"They have to assume that their lives are in danger at that very second", he said.

The tragedy is yet another example of "police using excessive force in the wrongful death of an unarmed black man", according to Crump. She also says additional body cam video from responding officers will be released within the next 30 days. Clark was killed holding a cellphone. No gun was found at the scene.

Officers pursued the suspect and located him in the backyard of the residence. "Gun!" moments before they began firing their weapons at Clark.

Shaky bodycam footage shows officers running up a dark driveway with flashlights.

On the video, one of the officers is heard yelling, "Gun, gun, gun".

The helicopter footage shows Clark collapsing as they shoot.

Officers held their position for about five minutes, according to the press release, until more officers arrived before approaching Clark, handcuffing him and beginning lifesaving efforts.


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