Family of unarmed Black man who was killed by Sacramento police files $20M lawsuit

Mary Scott
Feb 01, 2019
10:34 A.M.

The family of an unarmed black man, who was shot and killed by Sacramento police in his grandmother’s backyard last year, has filed a $20M federal lawsuit against the officers involved and the city of Sacramento.


22-year-old Stephon Clark died last year after he was shot multiple times by two officers who thought he was armed when he was only holding a cellphone.

Screenshot of Stephon Clark and his two sons. | Photo: Twitter/CNN

Screenshot of Stephon Clark and his two sons. | Photo: Twitter/CNN


The wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family on Monday calls out the use of excessive force in the incident and alleges that Clark was racially profiled, reports CNN.


The two officers, one black and the other white, according to the New York Times, failed to identify themselves or issue a verbal warning to the father-of-two before opening fire, the suit said. It also alleges that the cops did not get Clark medical attention immediately after the shooting.

According to the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California:


"The involved officers . . . fired 20 shots striking (Clark) approximately eight times."


An autopsy report released by the Sacramento County Coroner's office says that Clark was hit seven times, including three times in the back, but an independent autopsy obtained by the deceased’s family found that he “was shot eight times, six of those wounds in his back.”

Although the Sacramento Police Department has never publicly named the officers, USA Today reports that the suit reads:

"The conduct of officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet was willful, wanton, malicious, and done with reckless disregard for the rights and safety [of Clark].”



Filed on behalf of Clark's sons, his parents and grandparents, the lawsuit seeks damages of more than $20 million, including funeral and burial expenses.

Brian Panish, an attorney for Clark's children, said in a statement:

"When the facts are fully disclosed, we are confident that a jury will deliver justice that reflects how grossly the police land city officials failed Stephon, his family and the people of Sacramento.”

Another attorney for Clark’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, added that the deceased’s life had value.


"The Sacramento police executed Stephon Clark in his grandparents' backyard, mistaking his cell phone for a gun, assuming he was a criminal threat simply because he was a black man," Crump said in a statement. "Stephon's life had value. In America, a life -- even a black life -- can't be arbitrarily extinguished without holding those responsible accountable."



Sacramento Police department is said to have declined to comment on the case, instead referring all questions to the city attorney's office.

According to an official statement, the Sacramento District Attorney's Office is reviewing whether the officers' conduct constitutes a crime that could be prosecuted under state law.

"Our timeline for completion of our review has thus been delayed as we process the supplemental materials,” the office said. “We will take whatever time is needed to ensure a fair, thorough, and accurate review of this matter."



In March 2018, Sacramento police officers were responding to a call about a man breaking windows and hiding in a backyard. The cops began to chase Clark who then jumped a fence into his grandmother’s yard.

They opened fire on him when they thought he was about to shoot them, but it turned out he was only holding a phone.


Clark’s death came at a time when there was widespread outrage over increasing cases of black men being wrongfully killed by the police.

Last year also saw a white female officer, Amber Guyger, shot Botham Jean, a 26-year-old man, in his apartment.


Guyger had entered Jean’s home thinking it was hers and promptly shot the unarmed man. She was initially charged for manslaughter, but last month, a grand jury chose to charge the disgraced officer with murder.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy

news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

Related posts

Jenifer Lewis Was Once Conned by an Ex-lover Who Is Now in Prison

January 25, 2022

Years after Sister Kicked Him Out, Homeless Man Meets Cops and Learns He Is a Millionaire – Story of the Day

February 28, 2022

Cop Responds to Call about 5 Kids Who Lost Their Father, Unaware He'll Become Their Dad Soon

March 21, 2022

Rich Man Sees Police Take Homeless Woman's Newborn, Months Later His Car Pulls up beside Her — Story of the Day

January 31, 2022

LeAnn Rimes Once Sued Her Father for Taking $7 Million from Her, Yet Forgave Him before Her Wedding

March 15, 2022

Erik Estrada from 'CHiPs' Is Now Living the Ordinary Life & Working as a Policeman after the Show

February 22, 2022

Son Sees News Report about Homeless Man, Realizes It's the Dad He Hasn't Seen for 30 Years

April 15, 2022

Family-Of-6 Does Not Eat for Days, Desperate Grandma Steals 5 Eggs and Gets Caught by a Cop

April 24, 2022

Grieving Mother Hears Son's Heartbeat in Little Girl's Chest: 'He's Continuing on through Her'

January 27, 2022

Poor Pregnant Girl Disappears after Her Wedding, Husband Meets Their Son 53 Years Later – Story of the Day

January 26, 2022

Jay-Z Refuses to Do a DNA Test for Years While His Alleged Look-Alike Son Wants Him to ‘Tell the Truth’

March 08, 2022

Twins Send Dad to Nursing Home, Learn He Left Inheritance to Janitor Who Is Their Carbon Copy – Story of the Day

February 13, 2022

Old Lady Promises Each of Her 5 Grandkids a $2M Inheritance, in the End No One Gets It — Story of the Day

February 16, 2022

Kim Basinger Failed to Run off Alec Baldwin Before Their Wedding - She Was Able to After 8 Years of Marriage

January 27, 2022