Police Release Bodycam Footage of Stephon Clark Shooting Death

The Sacramento Police Department has released body camera footage of the shooting of Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man who was gunned down in his grandparents' backyard while holding a cell phone.

Warning: Graphic content

The video shows the perspective of one police officer running around the side of the house into Clark's backyard. The scene is lit only by his flashlight beam, and it is hard to make out Clark on the video at all. In the moments before shots are fired, the camera jostled, and Clark is never really visible.

The view from the second officer's body camera shows that he was firing around the corner of the house. His camera also doesn't get a clear look at Clark. However, one officer can be heard telling the other "he was still pointing," shortly after the gunfire ends. The police fired ten shots each at Clark, who died on the scene. They continue yelling at him to put his hands up long after he is on the ground, and the handcuffed his body after he was dead.

The Sacramento Bee confirmed the identity of the two officers as Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, through a representative at the law office of John Burris in Oakland and another source. The Sacramento Police Department declined to confirm the names, claiming that the officers have received numerous threats since the shooting. The outlet pointed out that Mercadal is African American.

Clark's older brother, Stevante Clark, announced on Thursday that his family had hired Florida-based attorney Ben Crump. Crump previously represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, two young African American men who were shot by police in recent years. Their deaths have contributed to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.


"The shooting death of Stephon Clark is an all-too-common tragedy," said Crump, in a statement on Friday. "It is yet another troubling example of a young, unarmed black man being shot by police under highly questionable circumstances. From what we have seen so far, Sacramento law enforcement's actions – both before and after the shooting – have raised more questions than provided answers. All of us who are committed to social justice are demanding full transparency and answers as to how these tragic events unfolded."

Clark was killed on Sunday, March 18. Police were responding to a call about someone breaking windows. They claim that the object in Clark's hand looked like a gun, though it turned out to be a white iPhone. His death has sparked a wave of protests in the grief-stricken city.