Stephon Clark was carrying a cell phone when police unloaded.
Stephon Clark was in his grandmother's backyard when he was shot at twenty times by police.
Officers in Sacremento were responding to an alleged car thief in the area, when they were directed in Clark's direction. A 911 call claimed that a man in a black hoody was smashing car windows and fleeing through backyards. When police officers came upon Clark, they frantically ordered him to put his hands up, and yet they shot at him 20 times.
Clark's grandmother, Sequita Thompson, was in the house when her baby boy was murdered by the police. According to The Washington Post, The officers claimed that Clark had a weapon drawn, but only a cell phone was discovered on his dead body. On Monday, Clark's family and civil rights leaders gathered for a news conference at Sacramento City Hall. Thompson was the main speaker of the event, emotionally calling for action against the police that killed her grandson. Family attorney Ben Crump also spoke, stating, “When a young man who was bombing homes in Austin, Texas, the police followed him for hours. But an unarmed black man holding a cellphone is shot 20 times."
The president of Sacramento NAACP Betty Williams asked for full transparency in the investigation into the shooting. She also called for the two officers who shot and killed Clark to be prosecuted. Rev. Shane Harris of National Action Network agreed. “We know that local prosecutors investigating local police is a conflict of interest,” stated the Reverend. “And we must get independent investigations on state and federal levels, because we know that a prosecutor investigating police officers that endorse them is like a student grading their own paper.”
Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones released both body cam footage and audio within days after the murder, something that is unusual for police shootings. While the Sheriff seems to be working hard to make sure her department puts the truth first, only time will tell if Clark will receive the justice he deserves.