Sacramento police accused of killing a young Black man in his own backyard

Stephon Alonzo 'Zoe' Clark thegrio.com
Stephon Alonzo ‘Zoe’ Clark. (Courtesy of Facebook.)

The Sacramento police department is in a lot of heat today following the police killing of a 22-year-old Black man that occurred in his own backyard. Clark,a father of two small children, was reportedly shot in the backyard of his home that he shared with his family including his grandmother, grandfather, and siblings.

According to Sacbee, Stephon Clark was fatally shot on Sunday night after the South Sacramento police responded to a call about an unidentified person breaking car windows nearby.

The police reported that they shot  at the young man because he had a gun, although no weapon was found at the scene.

Sacbee also notes that the police reports indicate he had a “tool bar” that he “extended in front of him” while rushing towards to officers. Yet, they have been unable to give a more thorough description of the alleged weapon when asked for clarity.

Department spokesman Vance Chandler commented, “Our detectives are still out there right now trying to determine what object the subject used.”

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All in a minute

The documented timeline began at 9:18 p.m. Sunday night, when officers received a call about a 6’1” Black man, dressed in a black hoody with dark pants, hiding around a residential area after allegedly breaking car windows.

The County Sheriff deputies then encircled the area via a helicopter less than 10 minutes later, at 9:25 pm. That’s the time officers claim to have spotted a man shatter another window with a crowbar, run to the front of a house, and look into another car.

That’s when deputies claim they told their officers to hit the ground to find the man. And this is when the story gets conflicted.

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The officers maintain that the man they found was the same man they spotted via helicopter. They claim to have ordered the man to show his hands, but instead, the man began to run to the back of a nearby house. They say that once confronted in the backyard, this man then came rushing towards them with an object in his hands.

Officers claim they were “fearing for their safety” and so fired multiple shots at the victim, hitting him multiple times and killing him at 9:26 p.m, meaning these events took place in the span of a minute.

A grandmother’s loss

Clark was pronounced dead the scene. His family, including his grandmother, was present at the time.

“The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground,” said Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, detailing the four shots she says she heard loud and clear.

Thompson asserts that neither she nor her husband, who was also present at the time but bound to a wheelchair, heard any voices or commands prior to the shots.

The shots rattled their family, including her 7-year-old granddaughter, Clark’s sister, who was sleeping nearby.

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Thompson called 9-1-1 after the scare and was on the phone with them when she opened her back curtain and saw her 22-year-old grandson in her backyard.

“I opened that curtain and he was dead,” said Thompson. “I started screaming.”

The officers involved in the shooting are currently on administrative leave as the investigation continues.

Body camera footage is expected to release within 30 days.

A GoFundMe page has been established to pay for Clark’s funeral expenses.

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