Official Stephon Clark Autopsy Not in Step With First One

It says 7 bullets hit him, not 8
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2018 6:21 AM CDT
In this April 9, 2018 file photo protesters display an image of Stephon Clark at a crime victims rights rally, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
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(Newser) – In the wake of Stephon Clark's death at the hands of Sacramento police, his family had pathologist Bennet Omalu, of NFL concussion fame, conduct a private autopsy. It potentially damningly found he had been shot eight times, mostly in the back. On Tuesday the official autopsy was released, and it tells a different story. The Sacramento County coroner’s office found seven bullets, not eight, hit the 22-year-old, and that six didn't enter his back, as Omalu found: rather, three hit there, plus another three that struck his right side and one that entered his left leg, reports the New York Times. KCRA quotes Coroner Kimberly Gin's report as saying that Sacramento authorities asked four forensic pathologists to read the autopsy and give an assessment due to the "erroneous information" that came out of the private one.

Dr. Gregory Reiber was one of them and says Omalu's findings contained a "significant error": that an exit wound on Clark's left side was an entry wound. This "leads to incorrect conclusions regarding the relative positions" of Clark and the police, says Reiber, who says the official autopsy does "not support the assertion that Clark was shot primarily from behind." He adds that the bullet that hit the front of Clark's left thigh was "most likely" the first bullet that struck him as he "was walking toward the officers' position," reports the Sacramento Bee, seemingly backing up officers' story that Clark was coming toward them with what they thought was a gun; it turned out to be a cell phone. Omalu swung back at Reiber's statements: "I find it extremely unusual that an outside doctor is reviewing an autopsy report and is coming out to state [I] am wrong. A doctor cannot say another doctor is wrong. All you can say is, I don’t agree with the opinion of that doctor."

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