Man Was Holding Phone When Cops Killed Him in His Backyard

22-year-old Stephon Clark fatally shot by police in Sacramento
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 3:33 PM CDT
Unarmed Father Fatally Shot by Police in Own Backyard
Stephon Clark, right, was fatally shot by police while unarmed in his Sacramento backyard Sunday night in California.   (GoFundMe)

Stephon Clark was killed by California police in his own backyard when officers fired 20 rounds at him, striking him multiple times, CBS Sacramento reports. According to the Sacramento Bee, police in Sacramento were responding Sunday night to reports of a man breaking car windows when they found Clark in his backyard. Police say the 22-year-old man at first fled before approaching officers while holding an "object" that he "extended in front of him." Police say the officers thought it was a gun and, fearing for their safety, opened fire on Clark. Police initially said the object turned out to be a "tool bar" of some kind only to later revise that: Clark was apparently holding only a cellphone. No gun was found at the scene.

“I know there could have been another way. He didn’t have to die,” Clark's older brother tells CBS. "He didn't deserve it." Clark's grandmother, who lives at the home, says neither she nor her husband heard officers give Clark any orders before opening fire. Police say Clark used an object, possibly a cinder block or piece of aluminum, to break a neighbor's glass door and the windows of at least three cars in the area before he was killed. Police say they will release body camera and helicopter footage of the shooting within a week. Salena Manni, Clark's girlfriend of five years and mother of his two young children, tells KXTV he wouldn't have threatened officers. "He had too much to lose," she says. "He would never want to leave his kids."
(More police shooting stories.)

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