DA: Officers “honestly, without hesitation, believed he had a gun.”
Just a few weeks shy of a year since Sacramento Police shot and killed unarmed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert has revealed that the officers involved will walk free without charges.
According to NPR, Schubert delivered her office’s review of Officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal’s conduct at a press conference today (March 2nd.) Schubert’s office concluded that after Robinet and Mercadal chased Clark on foot into his grandmother’s backyard under the suspicion of car theft, the officers “honestly, without hesitation, believed he had a gun.” The officers fired 20 shots at Clark. His autopsy report revealed that he was shot eight times (seven in the back) and may have lived through the shooting had he been administered aid earlier.
The city of Sacramento has been ablaze since Clark’s shooting. Protestors shut down a Kings game and have organized in front of the District Attorney’s office every day of the 49 weeks following Clark’s shooting. Local authorities have expressed concern that the DA’s announcement would fuel protests and even rioting. In January, Clark’s family filed a $20 million wrongful death suit against the city of Sacramento, which is ongoing at this time. The city awaits a statement from Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who held a special meeting at city hall on Friday to prepare social justice activists and the Clark family for the DA’s decision.