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Police shot Stephon Clark. Then their bodycams went mute

27 Марта 2018

Sacramento police officers shot and killed a black man in his grandmother's backyard because they believed he was pointing a gun at them, police said.

"He wasn't happy about it", she said. "We Are One." on the front and "#StephonClark" on the back. The shooting followed the one and only command - and with less than one second following - in which an officer can be heard saying "Put your hands up", immediately followed by "gun!" and a barrage of bullets. He said there were "various reasons" why officers would turn off their cameras' audio, but he would not say if the Clark shooting was one of them.

The two officers involved in the shooting have two and four years' experience with the Sacramento police, and both have four years' prior experience with other agencies.

A woman who lives down the street from where Clark was shot described the South Sacramento neighborhood as "rough" and said police in the area are "aggressive" - speeding down its tree-lined streets with little regard for residents.

The officers thought Clark had a gun, but they only found a cell phone. They were responding to reports about someone in the neighborhood breaking vehicle windows.

Cedric Alexander, a former police chief in Rochester, New York, and former public safety director in Dekalb, County, Georgia, said he saw nothing wrong procedurally with the Sacramento officers muting their cameras in the aftermath of the shooting.

Andrew nixon  Capital Public Radio
Tanya Faison of Black Lives Matter. Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Members of the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics NBA teams took up his cause Sunday, wearing Clark's name on black warm-up T-shirts three days after protesters formed a human chain blocking entrances to the Kings' Golden1 Center and prevented all but about 1,500 fans from entering.

The DA's office was the subject of criticism after the 2016 shooting of Joseph Mann, a black man who was killed by police in north Sacramento.

"He made no threat against the police, and the police offered no warning to him. No more "I feared for my life" as a an excuse to justify killing people", Faison said. "It would not be justification to shoot him in the backyard".

On Sunday, Crump told CNN that police showed no "humanity" toward Clark after he had been shot. Attorneys would advise officers to do that, to avoid recording comments that could be used in administrative or criminal proceedings, Alexander said. Deputies told officers that the man had picked up a "toolbar" and broken a window to a home.

He pointed to San Francisco, where a year ago the police chief required officers to document when they muted their body cams. An officer can be heard telling another to mute their microphone at the following video's 14:39 mark. The two officers each fired 10 rounds, but it was unclear how many times he was hit, pending the results of the official autopsy, police said.

"Certainly this case has not gotten the national attention that I think it deserves", Sharpton said in a segment on his MSNBC show PoliticsNation, criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not addressing police reform when he spoke to a black law enforcement group in Alabama last week.

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Chief Daniel Hahn has addressed the muting of the camera and has even admitted that the actions "builds suspicion" in the community, reported KCRA.

Clark's family has hired as its lawyer civil rights litigator Ben Crump, whose client list has included the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Crump was retained by Clark's family late last week.

Clark's family has disputed the police account.

Ste'vonte Clark led the crowd in chanting his brother's name inside City Hall. "Most of the people I talk to share my view".

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Police shot Stephon Clark. Then their bodycams went mute