When Sacramento Police Department officers shot and killed unarmed Black man Stephon Clark on March 18, they claimed the 22-year-old was advancing on them with a gun in his hand. It was quickly revealed that he was holding a cell phone, and on Thursday (March 29), a report from pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu revealed that six of the eight bullets that hit Clark entered the back of his body, showing that the report that he was threatening the unnamed officers was false.
“These findings from the independent autopsy contradict the police narrative that we’ve been told,” the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said in a statement. “From the time this investigation began, statements provided by the Sacramento Police Department have proven to be self-serving, untrustworthy and unreliable. This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”
The revelation reenergized protests in Sacramento, as demonstrators continue to demand justice for Clark. On Saturday (March 31), video posed by local station ABC 10 shows a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputy striking activist Wanda Cleveland with a police vehicle and driving away from the scene. She was transported to a local hospital for what The Washington Post reports as injuries to her arm and head.
The department issued a statement on the incident yesterday (April 1), saying that “the collision occurred while the patrol vehicle was traveling at slow speeds” and that the sheriff’s department is conducting an internal investigation alongside the California Highway Patrol’s investigation of the collision.