The Stephon Clark Incident: Justified Or Excessive Force?
Police have a duty to keep the public safe and defend themselves when they feel their lives are threatened. That’s what happened in a California when Stephon Clark failed to listen to the police and unfortunately lost his life because of it.
The Sacremento Police were dispatched after a 9-1-1 call came in claiming someone was breaking into vehicles on the 7500 block of 29th street. Sacremento Sheriff Department had a helicopter in the air and reported that they saw a man later identified as Clark break into a home’s back sliding glass door. The Helicopter continued to pursue Clark as Police caught up with the suspect. Police eventually caught up with Clark and yelled at him “Show me your hands!” “Stop!” “Stop!” Clark did not respond and moments later the police believing he was armed and threatening their lives subdued the suspect as he approached them.
Details later revealed that Clark was in his Grandparents backyard and that he may have been trying to get into the back door as that was the preferred entrance during later hours of the night. Upon searching Clark’s body no weapon was found on/around his body. His cell phone was however found near the body.
According to the incident report, the Police fired 20 rounds.
See for yourself.
Watch The Body Cam Below. (Jump to 7:28)
Body Cam 2 (skip to 7:45)
Watch The Helicopter Footage Below.
Stephon’s brother Stevonte Clark has spoken out against this whole incident, claiming that the shooting was an injustice. He even went to a city hall meeting where he claimed “The Chief of Police got my brother killed, he doesn’t even care. He shows no emotion at all.” Black Lives Matter has joined Stephon’s brother in protesting the police shooting. They recently prevented many fans from entering a basketball game in protest of what they feel is excessive force.
Watch The News Reel Below.
As you can see in the helicopter footage and his action there was more than enough probable cause to go after Clark. The protesters all claim that Stephon was unarmed however he had a cellphone and pointed it at the officers in the dark. Why didn’t he simply put his hands up? It would have avoided this whole incident. The Police are well within their rights, as it was dark and very easily could have been a gun. For all they knew, their lives were in danger. Yes, it is unfortunate that the situation unfolded this way, but necessary as police are trained to make split-second decisions. They need to be able to defend themselves if they are going to be able to continue to serve the public.
What do you think? Excessive force or clean shoot?