Saturday Sacramento County (CA) District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said the Sacramento city police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark feared for their lives and “acted lawfully under the circumstances.” She declared the shooting justified and said her office was not pressing criminal charges.
In a statement that lasted more than an hour, Schubert said the officers who shot Clark believed he was armed with a gun when they confronted him in a Meadowview backyard March 18, 2018. The pair had received a call of someone breaking car windows. They confronted Clark, who was 22, and chased him into a backyard. Video showed Clark advancing toward the officers. One officer said he believed he saw a muzzle flash at them.
“Clearly we all know he didn’t have a gun,”Schubert said. “But the officers didn’t know that.”
Investigators later found the officers had mistaken a white and pink iPhone in his hands for a gun, a determination that led to angry protests nationwide and dozens of proposed reforms in how the Sacramento Police Department trains its officers on the use of deadly force.
A separate report is expected to be issued in coming days by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has been conducting his own investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento plans to review both investigations in its own review of the shooting, the Sacramento Bee reports.