$20M Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Stephon Clark Shooting

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SACRAMENTO -- Attorneys representing the family of Stephon Clark, an unarmed man killed by Sacramento police officers last March, have filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the two officers who shot him.

The lawsuit alleges Sacramento police officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet profiled Clark and used excessive force in the shooting, and the city failed to provide proper deadly force training to its police department.

Police officers were in the neighborhood on March 18 responding to reports of someone breaking into cars. After a search with the aid of a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department helicopter, Clark, 22, was confronted by two officers in his grandparents' backyard and was shot and killed. The police department said that, at the time, both officers thought Clark had a gun. Investigators later said Clark was holding only a cell phone.

The suit was filed Monday in federal court on behalf of Clark's two children, parents and grandparents.

"As a result of the officers' actions, Stephon's children, parents and grandparents have been deprived of his life-long love, companionship, comfort, support, society, care, and sustenance for the remainder of their lives," a news release from the Clark family attorneys read.

The Sacramento Police Department declined to comment.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is investigating whether criminal charges will be filed against the two officers. On Monday, the DA's office said they have delayed the "timeline for completion of our review" after receiving additional materials from the police department and the Department of Justice. They stated in part:

"On October 25, 2018, this office received the voluminous investigative report and related materials from the Sacramento Police Department regarding the shooting. Two weeks ago, on January 16, 2019, we received further substantial investigative reports and related materials from the Attorney General’s Department of Justice investigators. Our timeline for completion of our review has thus been delayed as we process the supplemental materials. We will take whatever time is needed to ensure a fair, thorough, and accurate review of this matter."

Clark's death led to large-scale protests in Sacramento and some policy changes within the Sacramento Police Department.

FOX40 reached out to the Clark family and their attorney, both declined to speak on the lawsuit Monday.

This is a developing story.

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