Sacramento protests continue after funeral for Stephon Clark
Claudia Cowan reports from California where protesters are calling on prosecutors to file criminal charges against officers involved in the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark.
The results of an independent autopsy requested by the family of a 22-year-old Sacramento man gunned down last week by police revealed he was shot seven times from behind, a pathologist said Friday.
During a news conference, Dr. Bennet Omalu said shots fired at Stephon Clark struck him in the right back side of the neck and he had a cluster of wounds in the upper right side of his back.
Any of the sustained injuries would have been deadly, Omalu said, and it would have taken between three and 10 minutes to die. Clark was also reportedly shot an 8th time in his thigh as he was falling or after he hit the ground.
Clark’s family enlisted its own medical examiner to do an autopsy after saying they did not trust the result of the formal county review conducted last week.
Stephon Clark died in a hail of police gunfire in the backyard of his grandmother’s home in Sacramento, Calif.
Clark was shot on the night of March 18 in his grandparents’ backyard by police responding to a report someone was breaking windows. Video of the nighttime incident released by police shows a man later identified as Clark running into the backyard of his grandparent’s home, where police fired 20 rounds at him after screaming “gun, gun, gun.”
It turned out Clark was holding a cellphone.
His death is the most recent in a string of fatal shootings of black men by police that have triggered protests across the United States and renewed a national debate about bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Clark was laid to rest Thursday.
His brother, Stevante, threw himself on the casket and embraced it with hugs and kisses after the opening prayers at Bayside of South Sacramento church. He then led the crowd in chanting his brother’s name, pounded his chest and shouted.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, hugged and consoled him and told the crowd not to judge how families grieve.
“This brother could be any one of us, so let them express and grieve,” Sharpton said. “We are proud of them for standing for justice.”
The shooting has sparked largely peaceful demonstrations in California’s capital city.
On Thursday, about 100 protesters blocked downtown streets for the third day in a row during rush hour but did not prevent fans from entering a Sacramento Kings game as they had during two previous games. Stevante Clark had asked protesters not to block the game.
Clark’s name has been a rallying cry at protests in California and beyond. Families of people killed by police marched Thursday in Compton, calling for more transparency in use-of-force investigations, and the night before a small group of protesters gathered in New York City.
“That is a systemic problem, not a local problem,” said Zaid Shakir, a prominent California imam and former spiritual adviser to Muhammad Ali. “That’s an American problem, a uniquely American problem.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he’s committed to working with Stevante Clark to bring more resources to his South Sacramento community.
Shernita Crosby, Stephon Clark’s aunt, has said the family isn’t “mad at all the law enforcement.”
“We’re not trying to start a riot,” she said. “What we want the world to know is that we got to stop this because black lives matter.”
Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang