Police Shot Unarmed Stephon Clark Eight Times

Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Bullets struck Clark in the neck, back and thigh, breaking bones and piercing his lung, said Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist. Six of the bullets entered in the back of his body, Omalu said. The pathologist says any one of those wounds would have been fatal, and death would have taken three to 10 minutes.

Downtown Sacramento erupted in protests on Friday night after an independent autopsy revealed a young black father shot to death by police on March 18 was hit at least seven times in the back.

Police officers, concerned Clark could be alive and armed, waited about five minutes to approach him after the shooting in his grandmother's backyard.

He said it was unclear if Clark would have survived had he gotten immediate medical attention.

The Sacramento police declined to comment on Omalu's findings and Crump's statement, saying it "would be inappropriate" to do so before the release of the county coroner's report and the conclusion of the ongoing investigations into the shooting.

The death of the 22-year-old father of two was the latest in a string of killings of black men by police that have triggered street protests and fueled a renewed national debate about bias in the US criminal justice system. Protesters took to the streets again Thursday, calling for the officers involved to be held accountable They claim Clark took a quote "shooting stance" when he was confronted in his grandmother's backyard. Body camera footage shows the two officers, who have not been identified, shouting at Clark to stop and show his hands before one of them yells "Gun! Gun!" Since there are no front entry wounds, Crump asserted in the press conference that it is clear to him that Clark was not a threat to the officers when he was shot.

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On Thursday, hours after creating an emotional interruption at his brother's funeral, Stevante Clark helped defuse tension by asking protesters not to block thousands of fans from entering a downtown National Basketball Association arena for a third night.

"This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances", Crump said in a statement.

Black Lives Matter leaders encouraged protesters to "follow black women", and members of the Sacramento activist group Incite Insight passed out bottled water and snacks to protesters, who marched for four hours. "But that's not for me to say, it's for the people to decide".

The episode began when two officers were dispatched to the Meadowview neighborhood in South Sacramento to investigate a report that someone was breaking vehicle windows.

Seth Stoughton, a University of SC law professor and former Tallahassee, Fla., police officer who studies police shootings, said that "watching the helicopter video, it seems the officers are shooting after (Clark) is down on the ground". He moves toward the officers' position as they peer around the corner and open fire.

The shooting has sparked largely peaceful demonstrations in California's capital city.

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"You could reasonably conclude that he received seven gunshot wounds from his back", Omalu said.

The autopsy was released a day after an emotional funeral service.

The Kings helped organize the event along with Black Lives Matter and other community groups.

The Kings and their owner have supported the family.

Several Kings players joined black community activists' calls for racial justice at a Friday night community meeting, almost two weeks after Clark's March 18 death.

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