This past Sunday (Mar. 18), officers in Sacramento, California gunned down unarmed Black man Stephon Clark, who was holding nothing more than a cellphone in his grandparents’ backyard. Sacramento officials have released body cam footage of the incident as activists and others are scrambling for answers.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
In a frenetic sequence that lasts about 10 seconds, police chase Clark into the backyard of his grandparents’ home, where he had been staying on and off for a month, yelling at him to “show me your hands. Stop. Stop.”
Clark rounds the corner into the dark area and runs toward a covered patio at the far side. He can‘t be seen for a moment from overhead while the helicopter circles to a different position, and the body camera footage is dark.
One officer yells, “Show me your hands. Gun,” and quickly ducks back behind the wall for cover. In the bodycam footage, it appears the second officer may be pulling his partner to cover.
Then Clark can be seen taking a few steps toward officers as one officer moves into the backyard again.
The officer yells, “Show me your hands. Gun, gun, gun,” before both officers fire a rapid barrage of shots.
The outlet shared the body cam footage via their channels, which show the incident play out as written, along with noting that one officer tells a partner to mute their microphones as an investigation ensues. A police training expert who spoke with the Bee said that the officers were within their rights to employ force considering Clark did not obey their commands initially but did agree he should not have lost his life.
Still, there are questions about how officers handled the situation that still has yet to be answered.
Below is the video of the shooting of Stephon Clark. A WARNING: these images are disturbing so proceed cautiously.