An independent autopsy has shown that 22-year-old Stephon Clark was shot eight times in the back and side by Sacramento Police officers, according to The New York Times. None of the shots that entered his body were frontal.
The report released today and obtained by the Times states that Clark was shot twice in the neck, four times in the lower back, once in the leg and one time in the armpit.
Clark, a father of two, was shot at 20 times by Sacramento Police Sunday, March 18 while walking outside of his grandmother's home. The officers approached Clark following a 911 call about a man with a crowbar vandalizing cars; police suspected Clark was the vandal.
Authorities claimed he was armed, and was an imminent threat to the officers on the scene. In the days after the shooting, it was revealed that Clark only had a cellphone in his hand at the time of the shooting.
Clark's family hired Dr. Bennet Omalu, a private medical examiner, to conduct an independent autopsy in order to get desperately needed answers.
“You could reasonably conclude that he received seven gunshot wounds from his back,” Dr. Omalu said at a news conference on Friday.
He added that each of those seven shots could have had a “fatal capacity.” There was severe damage to Clark’s body, including a shattered vertebrae and a collapsed lung from the onslaught of shots received.
“These findings from the independent autopsy contradict the police narrative that we’ve been told,” Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, said in a statement. “This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”
Police stated that they "believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them." One officer added, "He came up, and then he kind of approached us hands out, and then he fell down."
“Our autopsy has shown that he was shot repeatedly in the back — which is certainly not characteristic of someone menacing officers or preparing an imminent attack,” Crump said.