Statement regarding U.S. Attorney, FBI and Sac PD’s findings in the Stephon Clark case

The U.S. Attorney, the FBI and the Sacramento Police Department today released their findings regarding the fatal officer-involved shooting of Stephon Clark. Their investigations found the officers involved in the March 18, 2018 incident acted lawfully and did not violate department policy or training.

Statement from City Manager Howard Chan:

“I respect the recent findings from the U.S. Attorney, the FBI and the Sacramento Police Department regarding the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark and thank all the agencies that have put this case and its evidence through a vigorous and thorough review process, including the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice.

“As City Manager of Sacramento, I have complete faith, trust and confidence in Chief Hahn and our officers, and know the policy changes we implemented in the wake of this tragedy –  and the improvements we will continue to put in place in the future – will make the city stronger and safer for everyone.”

Background information:

On March 18, 2018, Sacramento Police Department officers chased Stephon Clark around a corner during a foot pursuit in Meadowview and fatally shot him after Mr. Clark advanced on officers holding a cell phone, which officers mistook for a gun.

Officers were responding to calls about a man later determined to be Mr. Clark breaking car windows. Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies in a helicopter saw and recorded footage of Clark trying to enter a neighboring home by breaking a sliding glass door.

In March 2019, extensive reviews by both the Sacramento County District Attorney and California State Attorney General found that the officers involved had acted lawfully.

Since the incident, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Police Department have been proactive in implementing changes to increase safety for officers and residents. These changes include:

  1. Body cameras: In April 2018, the City of Sacramento implemented an emergency order requiring body-worn cameras and audio equipment to remain activated in all but narrowly defined circumstances.
  2. Foot-pursuit policy: In July 2018, SPD implemented a new foot-pursuit policy that asks officers to weigh their own safety, the safety of the public and the importance of apprehending a person before and during a foot pursuit.

The Sacramento Police Department and the City of Sacramento continue to be leaders in transparency. Because of an ordinance put into place by the City Council, SPD releases body-cam and dash-cam video quicker than what’s required by state law. Video from the Stephon Clark shooting was released within three days of the incident.

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