New footage from the police killing of Stephon Clark shows Sacramento, Calif., cops waited more than five minutes to help Clark after shooting him in his grandmother’s backyard.
More than 15 hours of material make up the newly released clips. The Daily Beast reports that police can be shown muting their cameras on the recording as they talk with others after the shooting. It takes more than five minutes before police officers begin assisting Clark by administering CPR. In fact, Sacramento cops take a minute handcuffing and searching Clark—after he had been shot at 20 times—before they begin to administer CPR.
By the time the Fire Department showed up, police had spent one minute administering CPR and Clark was already dead.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, the newly released recordings also reveal that officers thought Clark may have been “pretending” to be unconscious.
From the Times:
“He have a gun?” the approaching male officer says. The two officers respond, saying a weapon hasn’t been secured.
“I don’t see it,” one says. “He hasn’t moved at all.”
The officer who just arrived remarks that Clark has one hand by his face. Moments later, they shout at Clark.
“Hey! Can you hear us?” a male officer says.
“Police Department, can you hear us?” another male officer says.
“We need to know if you’re OK,” the female officer says. “We need to get you medics but we can’t go over to get you help unless we know you’re, you don’t have your weapon.”
She suggests to her colleagues that [the] next unit bring a nonlethal weapon: “Let’s have the next unit get, just bring a nonlethal in case he’s pretending.”
The Sacramento Bee notes that forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who last month performed an independent autopsy on Clark at his family’s request, estimated that the 22-year-old may have survived between three and 10 minutes after being shot. Of the 20 bullets fired at Clark, eight hit him—piercing his neck, torso and leg.
Police-reform activist Rashid Sidqe told the Bee that he’s not sure whether the five minutes officers waited to administer aid could have saved Clark’s life, “but it would have increased the chances.”
He added that his group, the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive, awaited a response from Sacramento’s police chief as to whether or not officers followed the proper protocol.
But police-training expert and Plumas County Deputy Sheriff Ed Obayashi told the Bee that he believed the delay in administering aid to Clark was “good tactical decision-making” and was done as soon as “safely practical.”
Clark was shot and killed March 18 in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a cellphone, which officers say they thought was a handgun.
The new footage also shows that Sacramento officers muted their cameras more than a dozen times, the New York Daily News reports. Just last week, Police Chief Daniel Hahn announced during a City Council meeting that officers would be barred from muting their body cameras in most circumstances.