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Sacramento Police Hand Stephon Clark Shooting Investigation to District Attorney

SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Police Department reported Thursday investigators sent their finalized results from the shooting death of Stephon Clark to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation concluded seven months after the 22-year-old father’s death in his grandmother’s backyard following a police pursuit and officer-involved shooting.

Results from the police department’s investigation were sent to the DA’s Office and the California Department of Justice.

A total of 54 videos captured from police-worn body cameras and dash cameras, along with infrared helicopter footage of the moments leading up to and after Clark’s death, were released by the police department in March and April. The first two clips filmed from the body cameras of the officers who shot Clark prompted hundreds of protesters to take over Interstate 5 and downtown Sacramento.

In a statement on the investigation, the police department also says Clark’s cell phone was analyzed. Officers believed Clark was holding a firearm when they shot him. Investigators later said he was only holding his phone.

“We recognize that this incident has had a significant impact on our community, and that our investigation had to be as thorough and as open as it could be,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn. “That’s why we released more information than we ever have before, and why we took the time needed to be sure we found every fact available to us. I believe Mr. Clark’s family and our entire community deserve an accurate and comprehensive inquiry into the tragic events of March 18, and I believe we have done that.”

It is not known when the investigation by DA Anne Marie Schubert will be completed.

Stevante Clark, Stephon Clark’s brother, sent the following statement to FOX40 on behalf of his family:

“Although the release mentions a thorough investigation has been sent to the Sacramento County District Attorney and State of California Department of Justice, all details have been deemed private to the public. Astonishingly, these details have even been completely concealed from the Clark Family, which does not promote transparency in the slightest. There was no mention of specifics of the investigation, such as any forensic evidence found, the findings from the contents of Stephon Clark’s cell phone, the interviews with ‘numerous witnesses’ that were conducted, etc.

The one-page release took time to boast that, ‘Releasing video of a critical incident this quickly is unprecedented, not only for our organization, but also, for any law enforcement agency in the nation.’ Not only is this statement irrelevant to the investigation’s findings in the murder case of Stephon Clark, it also is an offensive manner in which to highlight the Police Department’s ability to quickly release a video of their officers killing an innocent human life.

The community has indeed been traumatized by the brutal murder of Stephon Clark, which is why the Clark Family urges the community of Sacramento to come together to put pressure on District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to press full charges against these officers. We need to come together in solidarity in order to prevent this atrocity from happening ever again in our backyards.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg released the following statement following the completion of the department’s investigation:

“I understand and respect how anxious our community, the Clark family, and the police department itself are to have a conclusion reached on the Stephon Clark tragedy. As the Mayor of the City, I am likewise anxious for a timely and just outcome. The investigation now moves to the necessary next phase. I am hopeful that the District Attorney and the Attorney General will move expeditiously to reach its findings and recommendations.

Our City and Police Department have not waited for the investigation to be complete to work with our community to make important changes to our policies and procedures. Changing the foot pursuit policy to reduce confrontations and requiring the use of body worn cameras is only a start.

Our focus remains the same as in the days following this tragedy, reexamining our police practices,, avoiding unnecessary risks to both community members and police officers, addressing implicit bias, and aggressively confronting
the underlying poverty that exists in far too many Sacramento neighborhoods

The death of one more young man of color is one too many.”

The District Attorney’s office said Monday that it will work to complete its review within 90 days — but it may take longer due to the amount of material handed over.