A pathologist hired by lawyers for the family of an unarmed man killed by the Sacramento police says an independent autopsy shot Stephon Clark seven times from behind and took up to 10 minutes, to die
SACRAMENTO, California – Unarmed Stephon Clark shot and killed eight times by two Sacramento police officers – mostly backwards officers in his grandmother's backyard, According to an independent autopsy released on Friday amid growing tensions in the city and across the country.
Clark's death, which lasted up to 10 minutes, has rekindled the well-known rage and calls for justice after similar shootings by unarmed black men in the United States. Protests and civil rights activists want
Dr. Bennet Omalu, who had done the autopsy, said Clark was clearly shot from behind. Six of the bullets hit his body. He said the other two had beaten him by the side and on his thigh.
"This independent autopsy confirms that Stephon was not a threat to the police and was killed in yet another pointless police order under increasingly questionable circumstances," said Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights lawyer hired by Clark's family.
Flanked between two large posters with red markings showing where bullets entered Clark's body, Omalu described in detail how Clark died.
"The entire interaction, he had turned his back on the officers," said Omalu, a leading researcher on the affects of concussion on the brains of athletes.
Sharpton delivered the funeral speech for Clark, 22, in the overcrowded Bayside, South Sacramento Church, as he held onto Stephen's desperate brother Stevante, who frequently clung to the microphone.
The first bullet struck him with his back to the side "slightly opposite the officers," Omalu said, causing his body to spin. His back was turned to the officers when a bullet of six bullets hit him. One hit his neck, the others hit him on the back and shoulder.
The last shot hit his thigh, Omalu said, explaining that Clark was either shot on the ground or falling.
Clark did not die of his wounds immediately, he said, although only one of the wounds could have been fatal on its own.
Authorities have said that several minutes passed before Clark was treated for his fears.
"Whether you have been fatally injured or not, you should seek medical and surgical treatment promptly and in a timely manner," said Omalu, citing the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011.
She survived after being shot in the head was the timely, immediate medical and surgical intervention, "he said, adding," Every minute you wait reduces the likelihood of survival.
The results of the private autopsy were published just one day after Clark's funeral, and his family hired Crump, a senior civil rights activist who also represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.
In Sacramento people take to the streets to protest the death of Stephon Clark.
Crump said the results directly contradicted the story of the Sacramento police and showed that Clark was not a threat.
"Well, it's very simple." The narrative that was put forward was that they had to open the fire because he was attacking them.Now, apparently based on Dr. Omalu's findings in the autopsy of the family, it beats everyone Bullets from behind. "
He added that this was just the beginning of their work to get answers for the family.
"Truth is a crucial step to achieving justice," said Crump. "We pray for justice and that the family would experience justice."
The official forensic report was not published. Officers falsely believing that Clark held a gun fired 20 shots at him, the unit said after the shot.
Clark was found only with a cell phone.
The Sacramento Police Department said in a statement that it would be inappropriate to comment before issuing the official autopsy from the Sacramento County Coroners office. More: Police orders of black men in the US and what happened to the officers
More: Sacramento hopes to be a national role model after Stephon Clark's shooting
More: "No Local Affair": Al Sharpton, at funeral for Stephon Clark, bombs the White House, says death "aroused the nation"
On Friday, Clark's funeral drew hundreds and spurred protests throughout the city. Since his death on March 18, mostly non-violent protests have stopped traffic, blocked access to two NBA basketball matches, and disrupted a local city council meeting.
Other protests against the Black Lives Matter, including one in New York, led to some arrests.
Activist Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy for Clark, 22, and cursed the White House for dismissing the murder as a "local affair."
"This is not a local matter," shouted Sharpton during his remarks. "They've killed young black men all over the country, and we're here to say that we'll be standing with Stephon Clark and his family."
Clark's death is far from the first police interaction that turned out to be tragic. A local chapter of Black Lives Matter lists a dozen violent clashes last year alone.
Some want the police to file criminal charges and dress black shirts calling for justice, sharing a common opinion on similar high profile cases such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Philailand Castile in Saint Paul and Eric Garner on Staten Island.
However, there is hope that Clark's death could bring the moment for change.
"It might be up to us to influence change, and we can do it because we are basically a very diverse, integrated community". said Joany Titherington, president of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association, home to a large portion of the city's African-American population.
"We have black, brown and white people all living side by side, so what that really is is a police training theme where people shoot first and ask questions later," she said. "It's a systemic problem that national politicians do not seem to care about, even though no city in America is immune to it."
Many refer to Sacramento's new chief of police, Daniel Hahn – the first African-American to head the department.
Lindsay Williams, a member of the local Black Lives Matter movement, believes that systemic changes in the way police officers treat minorities will take time.
"There is an amazing solidarity within our community that transcends races and agendas," Williams said. "Well, I'm 27, so I really do not expect any changes because of my experiences, this country has not given me much to believe in."
Then Williams looked at the singing crowd and smiled. "But," she said, "these people do that."
Contribution: KXTV; Marco della Cava, USA TODAY
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