BODYCAM: Sacramento Police Shoot Man Holding Cellphone
Police were responding to reports of a man breaking into vehicles & directed to the suspect by a police helicopterBy Calibre Press | Mar 22, 2018
Sacramento police officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, a father of two who was unarmed, in the backyard of his grandparents’ home on Sunday night.
“The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground,” Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, told The Sacramento Bee. “I opened that curtain and he was dead.”
A police department statement says: “Prior to the shooting, the involved officers saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands. At the time of the shooting, the officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them. After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms. The only item found near the suspect was a cell phone.”
Clark was pronounced dead on the scene by personnel from the fire department.
On Wednesday, the Sacramento Police Department released video and audio of the incident: body camera footage from the two officers involved in the shooting; video from the police helicopter that directed the officers to Clark; audio of the initial 911 call reporting a man in a hoodie breaking car windows; and audio from the police dispatch.
The recordings begin with a man calling 911 to report a man in a hoodie and dark pants breaking car windows. The officer in the helicopter spots Clark running and walking through backyards, and tells officers on the ground that the suspect has just used a “toolbar” to break the window of a residence.
With direction from the helicopter officer, the officers on the ground follow and confront Clark.
In a dark backyard lit only by what appear to be gun-mounted flashlights, the officers’ body camera footage shows what happened next.