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Stephon Clark Shot Multiple Times in Back

Private autopsy says he was shot 8 times in all, took up to 10 minutes to die
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 2:26 PM CDT
Stephon Clark Shot Multiple Times in Back
Protesters march down a street after the funeral for police shooting victim Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 29.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Newser) – The family of Stephon Clark released the results of a private autopsy on Friday that shows police shot him eight times, mostly in the back, reports the Sacramento Bee. Bullets hit the 22-year-old in the back, neck, and thigh, per the Washington Post, and the AP says seven of the shots came from behind, with the one in the thigh occurring as he was falling or already on the ground. Pathologist Bennet Omalu, of NFL concussion fame, conducted the autopsy and said it likely took three to 10 minutes for Clark to die. "It was not an instant death," he said, a point likely to resurface given that officers have been criticized for waiting to administer first aid. The two officers said they fired because they mistook Clark's phone for a gun.

  • Police version: The family is expected to file a federal lawsuit, and attorney Benjamin Crump seized on the results: "The narrative that had been put forth was that they had to open fire because he was charging at them," he said, per CNN. "Well obviously, based on Dr. Omalu's findings and the family's autopsy, it suggests all the bullets were from behind." The autopsy "affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police."

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  • Protests: Regular protests have taken place near downtown since the March 18 shooting, but on Thursday, protesters shifted strategy and did not block fans from attending the Sacramento Kings NBA game. Stevante Clark, Stephon's brother, had urged protesters not to block the arena, and they instead blocked rush-hour traffic on downtown streets, reports the AP.
  • The Kings: The NBA team is setting up an education fund for Clark's two children and working with Black Lives Matter to fund youth programs. "My God, that's huge," local BLM founder Tanya Faison tells CBS News. "A lot of people keep asking, why did you go shut down the Golden 1 Center? That's why, and look at what happened. So, protest works."
  • New chief: A USA Today feature on the Sacramento protests finds that residents think their city can be a model on how a shooting might lead to changes, including in police training. "We can do it because fundamentally we are a highly diverse, integrated community,” says one African-American neighborhood leader. Part of the hope centers on the city's first-ever black police chief, Daniel Hahn.
  • Funeral: Hundreds attended Clark's funeral Thursday, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, who took exception to the White House characterization of the shooting as a "local matter," reports the Los Angeles Times. "No, this is not a local matter," he said. "They've been killing young black men all over the country, and we are here to say that we're going to stand with Stephon Clark and the leaders of this family."
  • Raw moment: At one point during the funeral, brother Stevante Clark threw himself on his brother's casket, reports the Sacramento Bee. He also grabbed the mic from an NAACP speaker and shouted, "Louder! Louder!" as attendees chanted his brother's name.
  • About Clark: KCRA has a brief background on the father of two. His family says he had turned his life around after run-ins with the law.
  • The video: Police video of the shooting can be seen here.
(Read more Stephon Clark stories.)

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