Sacramento police have shot and killed a Black teenager nearly six months after a similar shooting there reinforced the distrust the African-American community feels toward the department.
Officers fatally shot Darell Richards, 19, who police said was armed with a pellet gun at the time he was killed. Richards was the subject of a 911 call, which police have released. Video and audio of the shooting will be made public within 30 days, they said.
But with police’s narrative in doubt following March’s shooting death of Stephon Clark, — a killing of an unarmed Black man that has yet to result in any charges against the shooter — it was likely tough for the community to believe the department this time around.
Activists have seemingly been fighting an uphill battle to get justice for Clark as Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has prolonged pressing charges in her office’s investigation of the shooting. Facts given by police saying that Clark charged at them were contradicted by an independent autopsy that showed the young father was shot six times from behind. Clark’s family has sued the city of Sacramento for at least $15 million, ABC News reported.
With Richards’ death, the Sacramento Police Department was facing the prospects of another investigation. The county’s district attorney’s office, city attorney’s office and the city’s office of Public Safety Accountability have opened a probe into the shooting incident that began with the 911 call.
In the latest instance, police were responding to a report of an armed masked man in a black hoodie, grey pants and a backpack, they said, adding that the 911 audio has been released. When cops arrived, the person, identified as Richards, ran into a residential area, police said.
SWAT and K9 units arrived in the area before a search for Richards began early Thursday. Richards was located and then fatally shot after cops said he pointed the gun at them. Officers performed life-saving measures on the young man, they said. Fire personnel then pronounced the young man dead at the scene.
What cops found after the teen’s death was a knife and a pellet gun, which they said resembled a handgun. The department released a photo of the gun.
As with standard protocol, the two officers involved in the shooting were are on administrative leave.