Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert says her office will not file criminal charges against the two Sacramento Police officers who shot Stephon Clark in March of 2018.
In a lengthy news conference, Schubert laid out the evidence her office has reviewed and concluded that the officers involved did not commit a crime. They had probable cause, Schubert said, to attempt to detain Clark, and to follow and attempt to apprehend him when he fled from them. And, believing that Clark had a gun, Schubert says, the officers' use of force was lawful.
In a frame-by-frame analysis of videos from body-worn and helicopter cameras, Schubert showed a light that she said officers believed to have been a muzzle flash. She also showed that Clark advanced 15 feet toward the officers, while not responding to officers' commands to show his hands, before the officers opened fire. Twenty shots were fired. Seven hit Clark, who died at the scene. That scene was later learned to be his grandmother's back yard. Officers searching Clark's body found no gun, only a cell phone.
Schubert also revealed that DNA evidence linked the 22-year-old Clark to the broken car windows that brought officers to the scene, and that Clark's toxicology report showed alcohol, Xanax, codeine, hydrocodone, marijuana and cocaine metabolite in his system.
The D.A. went on to Clark's police record, noting that there had been a domestic violence incident two days before the shooting, that Clark was on probation for a previous domestic violence conviction, and that information obtained from his cell phone indicated that Clark was afraid that he would be jailed for the new incident, put away for life and would never see his children again. Schubert says the messages also indicated that Clark was suicidal.
Schubert says that her job is not to determine whether the officers followed department policy or whether there were alternate methods that they might have employed.
The District Attorney's Office has made its conclusion and the materials used to reach that conclusion available to the public on a website dedicated to the Stephon Clark investigation.