Police helicopter and body camera footage shows the moment two California cops killed Stephon Clark, an 22-year-old unarmed black man, in a hail of gunfire.
Two officers with the Sacramento Police Department shot at Clark 20 times on Sunday night after police received a call about car break-ins. Clark, a father of two young children, was armed only with a cellphone when he died, and was in his own backyard.
Disturbing helicopter footage of the incident, released Wednesday, shows thermal images of Clark running through his neighborhood and hopping fences as two officers begin to close in on him. He stops at the home he shared with his grandparents and two sons. Seconds later, officers shoot him dead.
In body camera footage also released Wednesday, officers can be seen talking to neighbors before pursuing Clark in a foot chase.
“Hey, show me your hands!” an officer yells at Clark as they continue to chase him. As the two officers round the corner, one yells out, “Gun!”
“Gun! Gun, gun, gun!” he shouts. Both officers unleash a hail of gunfire on the unarmed man.
One of the officers says he is going to do a “tactical reload.”
Clark’s aunt, Saquoia Durham, told the Sacramento Bee that after seeing the new videos, she believes Clark was never given a chance to surrender.
Clark’s older brother, 25-year-old Stevante, told HuffPost that Clark’s 3-year-old child has been asking where “daddy” is. Clark was also the father of a 1-year-old.
“I want people to know all he cared about ― more than anything else in life ― was his children,” Stevante said. “His children meant most to him.”
Stevante has started a GoFundMe page so his grandmother can pay for Clark’s funeral.
Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.
Approximately six minutes into the video that shows Clark’s killing, an officer can be heard saying “mute.” The audio then goes silent.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg warned people not to make any conclusions about Clark’s shooting until the investigation is complete.
“The loss of life is always tragic, and I cannot imagine watching a loved one’s final moments, let alone in such a public way,” Steinberg said in a statement released Wednesday evening, hours after the footage was made public.
“Based on the videos alone, I cannot second-guess the split-second decisions of our officers and I’m not going to do that,” the mayor added.
“The investigation must be completed. We need more information in addition to the video before we can render any final conclusion.”
Steinberg thanked Police Chief Daniel Hahn for leading the internal investigation into the fatal shooting, but said that more work needs to be done to build trust between the police department and the community.
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