Following his arrest Thursday in Sacramento, Calif., on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and making death threats, Stevante Clark was officially charged with misdemeanor assault and vandalism on Monday.
The 25-year-old was also accused of making criminal threats and abusing a 911 line, according to the Associated Press. Although police were seeking to have him charged with felonies, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office elected to charge him with misdemeanors instead. He faces less than a year in jail if convicted.
Clark’s landlords accused him of threatening violence and doing more than $400 worth of damage to their property, including defacing their home with graffiti.
Ruanne Dozier, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said that Clark was invited to join a mental health diversionary program that would result in the charges being dismissed once he completed it.
Clark has openly discussed the mental health struggles he has gone through since his brother, 22-year-old Stephon Clark, was shot and killed in the backyard of their grandparents’ house by two Sacramento police officers.
The officers claimed they thought Stephon was holding a gun and pointing it at them. As it turned out, he was only holding a cellphone—and an independent autopsy conducted at the request of the family showed that he was also not facing the officers when they began shooting at him.
Stevante Clark was released without bail Monday. He is reportedly seeking his own attorney for representation.
You may take note of the way I described Stevante Clark in the headline.
He is grieving his brother’s death at the hands of the state. He has openly discussed his mental health issues, and from what I observed the entire time I was on the ground in Sacramento, he is clearly “going through it,” as we black people like to say.
So, no, I don’t see him as just some random criminal who is getting what he deserves. I see him as a young man who does not have the tools or the language to deal with what has to be an impossibly heavy weight on his shoulders.
Besides, if white mass murderers get to be “lone wolves” and “troubled youth,” then Stevante Clark gets to be the grieving older brother.
I said what I said.