Stephon Clark was a 22-year-old father of two. On the night of March 18, 2018, Sacramento police responded to a call of a man vandalizing cars in Stephon’s neighborhood. With the help of a police helicopter, the police spotted the young man in a dark backyard. 20 shots later, he lay dead in his grandmother’s backyard.
As soon as they spotted him, they pursued him. They chased him into his grandmother’s backyard, where he would have been safe. Stephon stopped running and walked towards the officers. One of the Sacramento police officers shouted:
The officers open-fired on Stephon:
- 20 rounds were shot
- 8 bullets hit him
Most of the bullets hit him in the back.
The police believed he was armed, and pretending to be dead. They waited a full five minutes before approaching him to offer medical assistance.
Stephon Clark was unarmed. What they thought was a gun was actually his cell phone.
Stephon’s Death Transforms Big Brother
Stephon’s death triggered demonstrations for weeks. It added fuel to the fire that is burning the bridge between the police and Sacramento’s Black community.
Stephon’s case is similar to many other cases where UNARMED Black men are killed by police officers.
His 25-year-old brother, Stevante Clark, suffered from the news of his “alleged” murder and admitted his brother’s death caused him mental anguish.
On at 9 am on April 1st, a call was made to 911 reporting a disturbance caused by Stevante. As a result, Stevante asked to be admitted to the University of California Davis Mental Center. He stayed for two days and received treatment for his mental health.
His big brother admitted to needing help. The publicity and the circumstances surrounding his younger brother’s death were not doing him any good. His two-day experience in the mental facility was beneficial and something he needed.
Reasons for Stevante Clark’s Arrest
Stevante Clark was arrested on felony charges of:
- Suspicion of assault
- Threatening the woman he was renting a room from
- Making harassing 911 calls
On the 18th of April, a restraining order was filed against him by the couple he rented a room from.
Brother’s Death by Police Led to Mental Health Issues & Arrest
Friends and family of Stevante believe that his little brother’s death is the reason for the sudden change in behavior. They describe him as a man who had no run-ins with the law. He worked three jobs, including security for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. After his brother’s death, he took a turn for the worst.
His family members believe that his recent actions are a cry for help. They don’t believe jail is where he needs to be but checked into a hospital instead.
His family is worried that his mental health is deteriorating. They pleaded with the judge to release him into a program where he can be dealt with immediately because his life depends on it.
The Sacramento DA’s office reduced the felony assault charges to misdemeanors. Even the harassment calls to 911 were reduced. Stevante was released on his own recognizance and is due back next month for his court hearing.
The big question is this – will the judge take the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death into consideration with regards to his apparent mental breakdown? Should the death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento Police Department be a factor in his case?
Where Are Stephon Clark’s Killers Now?
While Stevante and his family continue grieving the loss of Stephon, the officers involved in the shooting of the young Black man are back at work. They have not formally identified the policeman. The Sacramento Police Department reported the officers were back on duty but not on patrol. They were placed on administrative duty after the shooting, which is the norm in these cases. It is not clear whether they will remain on administrative duty or resume patrol in the future.
We shall see.
Stephon Clark… The Father of Two
Stevante was asked to describe his brother:
“He was goofy, he was funny, he was loving,
He was a playboy, he was smart, he was an athlete.”
Prior to his unnecessary death by the Sacramento Police, his loved ones said Stephon was focusing on life with his family:
- Fiance Selena Manni
- 3-year-old son Aiden
- 1-year-old son Cairo
Stevante said his brother was an excellent father to his two toddler sons:
“He was hands-on with them. He pranced around with them, showing them off. He was so proud of them.”
School to Prison Pipeline
Now, these two boys will grow up like too many young Black boys in America… fatherless. These are the kinds of situations that feed the School to Prison Pipeline in this country.
It’s bad enough for a child to have to grow up without a father. But to grow up and discover your father was murdered by the local police – it can lead those anger quicker than anything.
American schools “discipline” Black students at such alarmingly high rates, statistics show these boys are in for the fight of their lives… or a fight for their lives.
See the infographic for stats on the School to Prison Pipeline in the US: