After Discrepancies in Reports, California May Change its Autopsy Policies

SACRAMENTO -- California could soon be changing the way it handles most autopsies. And it’s an issue that’s gotten renewed attention since the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

Earlier this week the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office released its version of the autopsy of Stephon Clark-- the man shot and killed by police back in march.

There were some contradictions between that-- and the family’s autopsy they requested from a private pathologist.

To some, the different results show at least the appearance of bias. And one California law maker is looking to change that.

State senator, Richard Pan, introduced a bill that would mandate autopsies be done by an independent coroner, or pathologist -- not by the sheriffs department. He says it is especially important for cases in which someone is killed at the hands of police.

“When you have this conflict, even when nothing’s going on, that undermines people’s confidence in those results," said Pan.

California is one of only four “sheriff coroner” states in the country that allows a department operating under the sheriff to perform official autopsies and determine causes of death.

“So while counties will say counties can decide on their own, it’s about local control. I think it’s about justice. The people of California deserve justice," Pan said.