On March 18, around 9:18 p.m., Sacramento police responded to a call “that a thin, 6-foot-1 black man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants was hiding in a residential backyard after breaking car windows,” according to The Sacramento Bee. Just eight minutes later, at 9:26 p.m., officers shot 22-year-old Stephon Clark because they feared “for their safety.” Officers claimed Clark “fled” when he was told to show his hands, but Clark was shot in his own backyard.
Officers originally stated he had a weapon in his hand, then they said it was a toolbar. However, The Sacramento Bee reports he was holding his cell phone. Clark’s grandmother Sequita Thompson said she was home when gunshots rang out. Stephon was reportedly fired at over 20 times. “The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground.” Reportedly, Clark’s body was left in the backyard for “several hours.” The grandmother said after she was interviewed by police for hours, “I opened that curtain and he was dead. I started screaming.”
The grandmother added that neither she nor her husband heard officers make any commands before killing Clark. In addition, The Sacramento Bee reports, “It was normal for Clark and others to enter the home through the backyard because the front doorbell doesn’t work and she and her husband, who is in a wheelchair, have poor mobility. People would knock on the back window and ask her to use an automatic opener to raise the garage door to admit them.”
The two officers who shot and killed Stephon were wearing body cameras and they are currently on paid administrative leave. We will see when the footage will be released and let’s hope it doesn’t mysteriously disappear.
Rest in power, Stephon Clark. We hope justice is served.