Official Autopsy of Stephon Clark Questions Earlier Findings

An official post-mortem report launched Tuesday on the dying of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by two Sacramento cops in March, varies considerably from a non-public post-mortem that contended he was hit primarily whereas dealing with away from the officers.

Mr. Clark, 22, was hit by seven bullets, based on the report launched Tuesday by the Sacramento County coroner’s workplace, not eight as a non-public post-mortem, organized for by Mr. Clark’s household, had discovered. According to the county report, three of the bullets entered Mr. Clark’s proper facet and three entered on the best facet of his again. An extra bullet entered Mr. Clark’s left leg. The non-public post-mortem discovered that almost all of the bullets had struck Mr. Clark within the again.

Dr. Gregory Reiber, a forensic pathologist whom Sacramento officers requested to overview the post-mortem performed by the county, stated the obvious sequence of the bullets does “not support the assertion that Clark was shot primarily from behind.” The non-public post-mortem mistook one exit wound, to the left torso, for an entrance wound, Dr. Reiber stated.

“This is a significant error, as it leads to incorrect conclusions regarding the relative positions of the victim and shooters during the event,” he stated.

Mr. Clark’s place on the time the taking pictures started is critical as a result of the Police Department has stated that Mr. Clark was advancing “toward the officers” and that they believed he was holding a firearm. He was later discovered to have been carrying solely his cellphone.

Mr. Clark was shot at 20 instances within the yard of his grandmother’s south Sacramento residence on March 18 by two cops who had been responding to a routine vandalism name. His taking pictures dying garnered nationwide consideration after sparking intense unrest and protests in Sacramento, significantly among the many metropolis’s black residents, who argue that the native authorities have lengthy mistreated their communities.

A non-public post-mortem performed by Dr. Bennet Omalu, a non-public health worker, discovered that almost all of the bullets that struck Mr. Clark entered from behind. Those findings had been introduced throughout a March information convention in Sacramento organized by the household’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump.

That report stated Mr. Clark was shot 3 times in his decrease again, twice close to his proper shoulder towards his again, as soon as in his neck, as soon as below an armpit and as soon as within the leg. Dr. Omalu stated on the time that one of the pictures to Mr. Clark’s facet probably induced Mr. Clark to show, in order that he can be dealing with away from the cops as they discharged their weapons.

The Sacramento Police Department declined to touch upon that report on the time, citing a unbroken investigation of its personal. (The California Department of Justice is aiding the Police Department in its investigation of the officers actions.)

Mr. Crump, the household’s lawyer, stated that the gunshot wounds to the again made it clear that Mr. Clark was not a risk when the officers shot him. Mr. Crump didn’t instantly reply to a request on Tuesday for remark concerning the findings within the official post-mortem report.

Video footage and police experiences paint an incomplete portrait of Mr. Clark’s remaining minutes.

Minutes after the 2 officers responded to the vandalism report — and guided by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter — they noticed Mr. Clark outdoors his grandmother’s residence and chased him into the yard.

In police cam footage, the officers are heard telling Mr. Clark to “show” his arms. Seconds later, an officer shouts “gun, gun, gun, gun!” and so they shoot at Mr. Clark 20 instances.

Many activists have argued that the officers mishandled the routine name, over injury to a car, and unnecessarily escalated the incident.

The officers have additionally confronted important criticism for muting their physique cameras after the taking pictures, elevating suspicion amongst Mr. Clark’s household and pals, who’ve expressed their perception that the division is making an attempt to cowl up dangerous conduct. The division has since established written pointers on when officers can mute their physique cameras and has barred officers from chopping the audio with out stating their cause.

A model of this text seems in print on , on Page A15 of the New York version with the headline: Differences In Autopsies On Shooting Of Black Man. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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