Two police officers in Sacramento, Calif., shot and killed Stephon Clark while he innocently stood in his grandmother’s backyard last year on March 18. But they won’t face justice for his murder.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors said they will not file civil rights charges against the two officers, and they will return to active duty, CNN reported. The Sacramento Police Department also cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, despite the officers shooting Clark, a Black man, seven times. The officers claimed that he pointed a gun at them. Clark was holding his cell phone, not a gun, according to investigators.
The two officers have been on desk duty since the shooting, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“Federal authorities also reviewed all of the evidence generated by the Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Department of Justice in earlier investigations, including witness statements, audio and video recordings, dispatch records, police reports, and autopsy reports, and gathered additional evidence pertinent to the federal investigation,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
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The gruesome shooting was caught on body cameras worn by the officers and a police helicopter. The cops had been looking for someone suspected of breaking into cars, authorities said.
The footage, which was released last year, shows one of the officers spotting him standing in the driveway and yelling, “Hey, show me your hands. Stop. Stop.”
In the dark, the two police officers chased Clark into the backyard of his grandmother’s
“Show me your hands!” one of the officers yelled. “Gun, gun, gun.”
That’s when the officers opened fire. Clark fell to the ground and tried to crawl forward before collapsing.
“We still want people to be held accountable. We don’t want killer cops on our streets, and we will continue to fight for justice,” said Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, Thursday at a press conference. “Until justice becomes a reality in not just our community but in communities all over the United States of America, this fight will just continue.”
Clark, 22, was a father of two. The city of Sacramento agreed to pay $2.4 million to Stephon Clark’s two sons, now 5 and 2.