SACRAMENTO – The eight bullets that struck unarmed Stephon Clark hit him in the back or side, and none came from the front, clearly refuting the contention by police that Stephon was moving toward them when they gunned him down. Those are the findings of an independent autopsy performed at the request of Stephon’s family by internationally renowned pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu.
“These findings from the independent autopsy contradict the police narrative that we’ve been told,” said attorney Benjamin Crump, who has been retained by members of the Clark family to obtain justice.
“From the time this investigation began, statements provided by the Sacramento Police Department have proven to be self-serving, untrustworthy, and unreliable. This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances,” Crump continued.
“The children lost their father and deserve justice. We are conducting a thorough investigation to determine how this happened,” co-counsel Attorney Brian Panish said.
Crump said the Clark family requested the independent autopsy after Stephon’s body was released to them by the medical examiner. Dr. Omalu has been widely hailed as the man who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, and its relationship to brain damage in football players. His story was illustrated in the theatrical film “Concussion,” in which he was portrayed by Will Smith.
According to Dr. Omalu’s findings, Clark was shot eight times with no front entry wounds. His independent autopsy identified four entry wounds in the lower part of Clark’s back; one in the side of his neck, with an exit wound elsewhere in his neck; one in the back of his neck; one under an armpit entering from the side, with an exit wound on the other side of his body; and one in the outside of a leg.
Crump said this information shows that Clark clearly was not moving toward officers in a threatening manner and they could have given him time to comply with their commands to show them his hands at the time they opened fire.
“Beyond the fact that police at first said Stephon’s cellphone was mistaken for a gun, but then changed their story to say they thought it was a crowbar, 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.
Crump said he expects that authorities will try to dispute or minimize Dr. Omalu’s findings because they directly contradict the official story of this unjustifiable shooting.
“When Dr. Omalu said football players were suffering brain damage, the NFL tried to dismiss his findings as completely wrong, but later had to reverse themselves. I’m sure the police will similarly try to discredit his findings about Stephon Clark, but once again the truth will win out.”
By Genoa Barrow
OBSERVER, Senior Staff Writer