In Sacramento, California, police have released a pair of videos showing the moments before a pair of officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, an African-American father of two who was gunned down in his own backyard. At the time of the killing, officers were investigating a 911 call reporting someone in a hoodie in the neighborhood breaking the windows of cars. One newly released video, taken from a police helicopter, shows thermal images of Clark being pursued outside his home by two officers, who draw their pistols on him.
Officer 1: “All I can tell you is he’s got a hoodie on. He’s running toward the front yard at 29th Street, 29th Street. He’s looking into another car that’s in between the fence and the front yard.”
Another disturbing video, from a body camera worn by one of the officers, shows the moment Clark was killed in a hail of 20 bullets as both officers opened fire.
Officer 2: “Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun! [gunshots] 5-7, shots fired. Suspect down!”
The Sacramento Police Department says officers waited for about five minutes before approaching Clark to administer medical attention after they shot him in his own yard. The officers initially claimed they opened fire after Clark advanced toward them holding an object they believed was a gun. In a separate statement, the department later said the officers believed at the time that Clark was holding a “tool bar.” Clark was found to have only a cellphone on him at the time of his death.