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Sacramento Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man in Family’s Back Yard

By Briona Singleton –


Stephon Clark and his sons, Cairo, 1, and Aiden, 3. PHOTO: Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee

Stephon Clark and his sons, Cairo, 1, and Aiden, 3. PHOTO: Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee

An unarmed black man, identified as 22-year-old Stephon Clark, was shot and killed by Sacramento, CA police on the night of March 18.

According to an initial statement released by authorities, two officers had been responding to a report about a thin, 6’1 man breaking into car windows who was hiding in a residential backyard.

The Sacramento sheriff’s department dispatched a helicopter to help locate the suspect, and reported seeing Clark using a tool to break a window at the residence, authorities said.

Reportedly, the helicopter advised the police of Clark’s location, and when the officers found Clark, police said they ordered him to stop and show his hands, but he instead began to run.

Police pursued the suspect, and, unaware that he had only been holding his cell phone, the officers assumed it was a firearm, and subsequently fired their weapons at the suspect multiple times.

Minutes later, additional officers arrived at the scene, handcuffed Clark, and attempted to give him life-saving support.

Ultimately, Sacramento fire personnel declared Clark dead, after he was shot about 20 times by police.

In an updated press release, authorities said the backyard at the residence had actually been the house of Clark’s family members, where he resided with his grandparents and siblings.

No firearm was recovered.

The two officers involved in the incident were equipped with body cameras, and there is also helicopter audio and video footage of the shooting.

Currently, the officers have been placed on paid leave.

Click on the image below to view police footage of the incident.

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