Kim Kardashian is hoping to help the family of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers in March 2018. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star asked her followers to sign a petition asking Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to charge the two police officers involved. In March 2019, the district attorney declined to charge officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, saying their use of deadly force was legally justified.
Kardashian received a series of direct messages on Instagram from Clark's sister, Tiana Parker, who hoped the reality star could use her platform to raise awareness for her brother's case. "I"m seeing everyone around me receiving justice for the most part but my brother is not being mentioned," Parker wrote to Kardashian, reports TMZ. "My voice is not powerful enough."
The MoveOn.org petition Kardashian shared now has over 28,000 signatures. "Thank you for listening to my brother's story and hearing my cries," Parker wrote to Kardashian after she shared the petition. "And actually taking action behind your words. Forever grateful."
Clark was killed in his grandmother's backyard with a phone in his hand on March 18, 2018. The two police officers fired 20 rounds at Clark and said they believed he was pointing a gun at him, but police only found the phone on him. The Sacrament County Coroner's autopsy report said Clark was shot seven times, but a pathologist hired by his family found he was shot eight times, including six times in the back. The incident was caught on police body cameras and an overhead helicopter camera.
The two officers were placed on administrative leave. They returned to work after the FBI office in Sacramento found there was insufficient evidence "to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Mercadal and Robinet should face federal criminal civil rights charges, ABC News reported at the time. In October 2019, Clark's family reached a $2.4 million settlement, which will go to Clark's sons, ages 2 and 5, in three lump sums starting when they turn 22, The New York Times reports. The family initially filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
The case led to protests in California's capital. Just this month, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released new reform recommendations for Sacramento police, calling for the department to change its hiring practices and prioritize de-escalation techniques. "This was not a report meant to be printed and put on a shelf," Becerra said in a press conference, reports KQED. "I urge you [the Sacramento Police Department] to read our recommendations and build on them."