SACRAMENTO — Stephon Clark’s family, their attorney and representatives from the NAACP and the National Action Network demanded change Monday at City Hall.
“We know the city has come a long way in police reforms and we applaud them for their efforts, but it is clear that those reforms did not spare the life of Stephon Clark,” Alice Huffman, president of the California-Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP, told reporters.
Reverend Shane Harris, senior leadership director for the National Action Network, and the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, called for an independent autopsy and investigation of Clark’s shooting death at the hands of two police officers. Harris argued that district attorney’s offices and police departments primarily work hand in hand and that one investigating the other presents a conflict of interest.
Huffman said the NAACP has begun talking to the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the killing on the federal level.
Leaders speaking to the media Monday demanded that the two officers that killed Clark face charges.
Clark was shot 20 times in the backyard of his grandparents’ home. The police department said the two officers believed he was armed, but Clark was only holding a cell phone. Police believe Clark had broken into cars that night.
Crump previously represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown.
“We will speak up for Stephon and we will fight for Stephon until we get justice for Stephon,” Crump told reporters.
In an interview with FOX40 following the conference, Crump said he would be “[exploring] every legal remedy possible to get full justice for the family of Stephon Clark and his children.”
Crump stood by Clark’s grandmother, Sequita Thompson, as she fought through tears to describe the night her grandson was killed.
“They didn’t have to kill him like that. They didn’t have to shoot him that many times,” Thompson said. “Why didn’t you just shoot him in the arm? Shoot him in the leg. Send the dogs, send the taser. Why?”
Clark’s brother, Stevonte, appeared late in the news conference and led a raucous, emotional chant of Stephon’s name.
Clark’s funeral is set for Thursday.