The City of Sacramento today settled the final remaining portion of a lawsuit filed by the family of Stephon Clark.
“The decision to resolve the case through a negotiated agreement comes after careful consideration of all options,” said City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood. “We believe this is the best path forward for all involved parties including our community.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the City’s insurer will pay Mr. Clark’s parents $1.7 million. The Clark family has agreed this settlement brings an end to the legal action. A 2019 settlement provided $2.4 million for Mr. Clark’s two children, and a later court ruling left his parents as the sole remaining plaintiffs.
“Stephon Clark’s death was a tragedy that brought pain and sorrow to his family and to our entire city,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “Everyone wishes this heartbreaking event had not occurred. A family lost a son, a grandson, a brother, and a father.”
Sacramento Police Department officers shot Stephon Clark during a March 2018 foot pursuit in the Meadowview neighborhood. The officers believed Mr. Clark was advancing on them holding a gun. It was later determined Mr. Clark had been holding a cell phone rather than a gun. Subsequent investigations by City, County, State and Federal agencies each found that the officers’ actions were within both State law and the policies of the Police Department.
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 updates to SPD’s body-camera and foot-pursuit policies, as well as development of a comprehensive use-of-force policy.
“The fact that the officers acted within the law does not diminish the tragedy of what occurred,” Alcala Wood said. “This case has led our City to implement meaningful improvements to policy, and it will continue to do so.”