LIVE STREAM: Attorneys hold press conference on Sacramento police-involved shooting of Stephon Clark

Crowd turns out in support of Stephon Clark

SACRAMENTO - Attorneys Ben Crump and Dale Galipo host a presser at the Sacramento Federal Courthouse on the fatal officer-involved shooting of Stephon Clark.

The family of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old black man shot and killed by Sacramento Police, will be exploring "every legal remedy possible" in search of justice, according to their attorney Benjamin Crump.

Crump will hold a news conference Monday in front of the Sacramento Federal Court regarding the case.

The press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST. You can watch it here on ClickOnDetroit.

Here’s what’s known about the case — and what’s still unclear:

Sacramento police say two officers responded after 9 p.m. Sunday to reports of an unidentified man breaking car windows. Deputies in a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter said they spotted the suspect and reported that he had picked up a toolbar and broken a window in a residence.

Two officers on the ground ordered the suspect to stop and show his hands, but he ran into a backyard of his grandparent’s home. Police say he turned and advanced toward the officers while holding an object in front of him.

The officers believed it was a firearm and feared for their safety, the department said. They fired 20 times.


The officers called for backup and waited about five minutes instead of immediately providing medical aid. Video recordings released this week seem to indicate they feared the suspect might still be armed and dangerous.

A responding officer told others to mute the microphones on their body cameras. It’s not clear why and the department hasn’t said whether that violated department policies.

Moreover, there is no evidence from the audio recordings that the officers identified themselves as police, said civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump, who was retained by the Clark family.


Clark was the father of two sons, ages 1 and 3, and the fiance of Salena Manni.

“He was goofy, he was funny, he was loving. He liked shoes,” brother Stevante Clark told The Sacramento Bee . “He was a playboy, he was smart, he was an athlete, he was charismatic.”

Court records show he had several brushes with the law, none involving a firearm. Since 2014 he pleaded no contest to felony robbery, misdemeanor loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution and misdemeanor assault. He was sentenced to probation, a sheriff’s work program and was required to complete a batterer’s treatment program.

Sacramento police have declined to release the names of the officers involved in the shooting, saying they’ve been receiving death threats.

Police say the officers, one of whom is white and the other black, have two and four years of experience with the department, and both have four years of prior law enforcement experience with other agencies. They are on paid administrative leave.


Crump is best known for representing the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, both young black men shot to death in racially tinged incidents in Florida and Missouri, respectively.

“We are looking into every aspect of this tragic killing, how this young man was executed in his backyard, especially in light of the fact that he had no gun,” Crump said. “He made no threats against the police.”

He said the police actions show poor training. He plans to meet with Clark’s family this weekend, and said the firm will do its own investigation including an independent autopsy.


Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, the city’s first black police chief, promised transparency and to work for better community relations since he took charge last year. Mayor Darrell Steinberg praised Hahn for releasing the videos within four days of the shooting instead of the 30 days required by city policy.

Steinberg said the department has improved its policies since the fatal shooting of a mentally ill black man, Joseph Mann, in 2016. He said the City Council will address some of the public’s questions including the department’s use of force policies and training at a meeting April 10.

Sacramento shooting victim's family will explore 'every legal remedy,' lawyer says

The family of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old black man shot and killed by Sacramento Police, will be exploring "every legal remedy possible" in search of justice, according to their attorney Benjamin Crump.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Crump said Clark's death should not be "swept under the rug." Crump also called for accountability from both sides.

"There's great mistrust" between communities of color and police, Crump told CNN's Dan Simon. The attorney has also represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

"The only way we can bridge this divide of mistrust is to have transparency and accountability," he said, adding that it needs to come from both sides.

Crump will hold a news conference Monday in front of the Sacramento Federal Court regarding the case.

Sacramento protesters: 'Cells up, don't shoot'

Demonstrators in Sacramento marched for hours Friday through California's capital and called for justice in the contentious police shooting death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man.

During a second day of protests, activists marched about a mile from the city's Tower Bridge to the steps of state Capitol building.

They chanted "Black lives matter" and called out Clark's name. One of the march leaders told people to hold up their cellphones; police have said Clark had an object in his hand, but no weapon was found.

"It's just a cellphone," the man yelled out. "I don't know how the hell it looks like a gun to anybody else."

The shooting incident began Sunday after 9 p.m., when Sacramento officers responded to a report that a man had broken car windows and was hiding in a backyard. They pursued a man identified as Clark, who hopped a fence into his grandmother's property.

Officials said two officers fired when they thought they saw a weapon.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the city will wait for the outcome of an investigation.

The city will take a close look at police training and protocols, he said, because the way Clark died was "just plain wrong."

"Isn't there a better way (for police to handle those type of situations)?" he said. "There is a better way. There must be a better way."

Rally at the Capitol

The crowd Friday stood on the steps outside the Capitol, decrying a police force the protesters called racist. They said there was no reason for police to open fire.

"Cells up, don't shoot," they screamed.

After spending about a half hour at the Capitol, demonstrators took to the streets, occasionally disrupting traffic downtown and at times confronting police officers. Several people, including one member of the clergy, would get the growing crowd moving again as the protesters eventually went to an area where there were several courthouses.

At times, members of the crowd shouted "murderers" at law enforcement officers and yelled, "F--- the police."

Tensions began rising after demonstrators held a vigil Friday night. Some protesters were seen surrounding a police vehicle and climbed on it, CNN affiliate KCRA reported.

Police blocked the road as protesters continued chanting and shouting at the officers for at least an hour, news footage showed.

It's unclear whether there were any arrests.

'A phone is not a gun'

Protesters the day before had marched into City Hall and onto an interstate highway as the mayor called for calm. They also went to an NBA arena and kept many fans from attending the Kings game against the Atlanta Hawks.

At City Hall, demonstrators called for the arrest of the two officers and demanded to see police Chief Daniel Hahn as they marched into the building.

The protest, which was organized by Black Lives Matter Sacramento, briefly spilled onto Interstate 5 after the group left City Hall.

"A phone is not a gun," protesters chanted.

The mayor on Friday called it a good night.

"There were no arrests, there was no violence, and there was no one hurt," Steinberg said.

Protesters twice tried to get on I-5 on Friday night but were blocked by California Highway Patrol officers wearing helmets.

Police: Clark had an object

The shooting was captured by the two officers' body cameras and a police helicopter; that footage was released on Wednesday in an effort to be transparent.

On Sunday, officers fired 20 times at Clark, hitting him multiple times, police told CNN Sacramento affiliate KOVR. The two officers have since been placed on paid administrative leave amid a use of force investigation.

The body camera videos show the brief encounter between police and Clark, lasting less than a minute, from the moment one of the officers yelled: "Hey, show me your hands. Stop. Stop."

Police said the officers entered the front yard and saw the suspect along the side of the home. Police said the man "turned and advanced toward the officers while holding an object" extended in front of him.

"Show me your hands!" one of the officers yelled. "Gun, gun, gun."

Seconds later, officers opened fire as they took cover near a wall.

As more police arrived at the scene, someone is heard asking, "What did he have on him?"

An officer responded "... something in his hands. It looked like a gun from our perspective."

Clark's family members have disputed the police account.

Clark's grandmother said she was inside the house when the shots were fired, and saw her grandson with an iPhone.

Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.