UPDATE: Sacramento Police Story Changes – Again – about Details of Shooting Death of Black Man in Own Family’s Backyard

About 140 people gather for a protest-prayer event within blocks of where 22-year-old Stephon Clark was killed in a hail of Sacramento Police bullets.

By Cres Vellucci

SACRAMENTO  –  In less than two days, the ever-changing story of what happened to a young Black man gunned down in his grandparents’ backyard by police officers seemingly changes whenever the public information officer for the Sacramento Police Dept. has time to shoot out a new press release.

Let’s recap. Don’t commit this to memory – the story coming from SPD may soon change.

Twenty-two year-old Stephon (born Stephen) Clark was shot and killed in the backyard of his grandparents’ home, where he lives, shortly after 9 p.m. last Sunday night. His family, grilled by police officers until about 1 a.m., didn’t know their relative was dead just feet away from the back door that entire time.

But Sunday, police said he was the man who had broken windows of cars and a house next door, and he was
killed after he confronted police with a gun.

That story changed Monday when police said he didn’t have a gun but another “implement,” maybe a tire iron. They said he was shot several times.

Now, Tuesday, the story fed the news media and public by police is that Stephon did not have a gun, or a tire iron or anything like that (at least that would make police “fear for their lives” as the SPD news release said).

In fact, police now say, Stephon just had a cell phone. An iPhone.  After 24 hours or more of searching, and maybe hoping, SPD didn’t find a gun or tire iron, and was forced to admit Stephon was only holding a phone. In his own, in effect, backyard.

And Tuesday, the SPD said Stephon wasn’t just shot, he was, in fact, riddled with bullets from near point blank range by two officers who fired at least 20 rounds at Stephon, apparently “armed” only with that cell phone.

A shocked Black community, which held a vigil with about 140 people Monday night, is having a candlelight protest Friday at 7 p.m. near the scene of the police killing.

“He was not attacking the officers; he was moving away. He stays in the home and our door bell hasn’t worked for years…he just goes to the backyard to enter,” said one family member Monday.

SPD body-cameras and a Sheriff’s helicopter footage should be made available, per Sacramento City Council new rules, within 30 days for the public.

Law enforcement has killed about 226 people so far in 2018 nationwide, about three people a day. California leads with at least 27 killed – nationally about 24 percent of those killed by law enforcement are Black.

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9 thoughts on “UPDATE: Sacramento Police Story Changes – Again – about Details of Shooting Death of Black Man in Own Family’s Backyard”

  1. John Hobbs

    Chief Hahn and Mayor Steinberg should get out in front of this attempted cover-up by the officers involved. The community is deserving of an honest explanation of and resolution to this murder under color of authority.

    1. Ken A

      This shooting sounds real bad, so bad even some of my super right wing (almost always support the cops) friends are saying it looks like these cops should go to jail.

      P.S. I just read that US cops have killed more people in the last WEEK than have been killed in US schools all YEAR (and that kids in a park with an airsoft are much more likely to be shot by a cop than a NRA member with an AR)…

  2. John Hobbs

    “P.S. I just read that US cops have killed more people in the last WEEK than have been killed in US schools all YEAR”

    Creepy comparison. Relevance?

  3. Adam Wills

    The horrible thing that has been going on even when the police are completely wrong. Wrong in malice or just mistake of judgement they have been able to villanize the victim and skew the facts. The inability for the communites of color to able to have simple accountability has what has bred organizations like Black Lives Matter and Anti Police-Terrorism Project.
    These organizations in themselves are villanized as anti-american when they simple ask the simplest ask from these organizations on a base level that should be bipatisan is accountability.
    If we had a construction company, Hospital, Builders or Doctors that did their job with such fear and trepidation that they kill 3 people, 3 people a day we would close the hospital. If a builder had home after home fall apart and hurt people he would lose his license. A doctor killing patient after patient would be sued and licensed revoked. We are dying nationally 286 people  Americans have already been killed by police. Yes some of them are “good shots” where they are defending literally defending the lives of themselves and others.  Sadly this is not a case for way to many.
    These sadly are not the case in a lot of these deaths and when someone is unarmed and on their own property and to be killed is not only atrocious but if their is no accountability it will greiviously wound a entire people whom already and for good reason do not trust the police.
    People of color have good reason to fear the police when your in a lot of small towns the only gun violence is police violence. Where they can kill unarmed People of color and state they where in fear and nothing happen which has happened again and again.
    The police in America in these decades will be infamously on the wrong side of history


  4. John Hobbs

    Video released this morning shows very little detail, beyond the fact that cops never identified themselves as “police” and fired at a very poorly lit suspect who may well have been turned away from as opposed to charging the cops. One cop says,”Show me your hands , the other cop says, “gun” and 20 rounds rip off into the darkness. As soon as a supervisor gets there he says “mute” the audio cuts and then we see the cops start to concoct the cover story. Let’s see how Hahn and Steinberg spin this one.

  5. Tia Will

    Officer on video heard to say after shooting multiple rounds, “Slow it down….we’re fine….slow it down”.

    What a shame that is not what they said prior to opening fire.

    As a surgeon, even in the most dramatic of presenting circumstances, the first thing you do is to calm yourself. It would seem from the number of shootings of unarmed suspects that we have seen in the last couple of years, this is a piece of police training that should be strengthened.

  6. Tia Will

    I think that police functioning in our communities would be vastly improved if they were to adhere to the same principle we swore to adhere to in medical school ( my apologies to those who did not know I had attended). First, do no harm.

    1. Keith O

      medical school ( my apologies to those who did not know I had attended)

      There’s nothing to apologize for but maybe if you could just remind us from time to time.

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