Stephan Clark, 22, was holding only his cell phone when he was fatally shot on Sunday night, March 18, 2018, by two police officers—Sacramento police officers, who fired at him 20 times.
911 dispatchers received a phone call about 9:18 pm on Sunday about a man breaking into cars. In addition to police officers making response time, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter had also responded.
According to the individuals in the helicopter, they say a man use the “tool bar” to break into a window. Later, it was stated by police officers that the rear sliding glass door in an occupied home on the 7500 block of 29th street was broken into.
The resident of the home, described by police, belonged to—Bill Wong, 88, stated that he was unaware of the events that took place on Sunday night. He didn’t see or hear of how his window was broken or hear any gunshots.
Reports made by the police on Tuesday stated that a cinder block and a piece of aluminum similar to what would be used in a rain gutter were recovered from near the broken door and taken into evidence, though neither item was definitely identified as the “tool bar” seen by deputies in the helicopter.
Deputies in the helicopter stated that once Clark broke the Wong’s window, they observed him running south, where he jumped the fence into his grandparent’s yard adjacent to Wong’s house. It was also stated that he was headed toward the front of his grandparent’s property, in addition to looking into another car.
Police entered the front yard of Clark’s grandparents’ house and saw him along the side of the house. Police said officers gave him commands to stop and show his hands but that he immediately fled from the officers and ran towards the back of the home. From there, police pursued Clark and when he turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him. NO GUN WAS FOUND AT THE SCENE and it was later stated that the object present at the time of the incident was a cellphone.
A spokesman for the police department stated that each of the two officers involved in the shooting fired 10 shots, for a total of 20 shots fired. However, the total number of times that Clark was hit is not known.
Clark’s life tragically changed when he encountered the police officers in the backyard of his grandparent’s home. Clark was staying with his grandparents at the time of the incident.
Each and every day, we are presented with snapshots of the immoral behavior of our fellow citizens who hold prestigious titles within the world. However, these individuals use their titles as a platform to carry out their own hidden agendas or pretend such laws or regulations do not apply to them. A question that I often times ask myself is ‘how many times is too many times?’ when referring to police officers responding to excessive force in reference to African Americans, which then results in a tragic fatality of an unarmed African American.
To be a young African American man in the United States of America. should not be an issue, in this date and time, that any African American parent should be fretful of. I, strongly, believe that there should be various training for police officers in reference to ethics, morals, excessive force, professionalism and, laws. Many individuals will argue the fact that police officers already receive this type of training, however, as many happenings of police brutality or excessive force, I would love to argue other wise! As a community, we should look more in depth towards the police reform and seek to modify and policies.
Stephan Clark may your name add fuel to the fire for your brothers and sisters to continue to fight for justice!