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The family of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old father of two shot to death by Sacramento police in March, is seeking more than $15 million as a result of the fatal shooting.
Police shot Clark in the backyard of his grandmother’s home. Officers said they thought he had a gun but he was holding only a cell phone.
The family’s claim is considered to be a precursor to a possible lawsuit, according to reports. They are asking for $15 million in damages, including a recoup of funeral costs, attorney fees and they are seeking punitive damages for his death at the hands of officers.
A troubling account
Clark was fatally shot after the South Sacramento police responded to a call about an unidentified person breaking car windows nearby.
Sacbee reports that the police claimed that Clark was the man they were looking for who was breaking car windows and after being confronted, police officers on the scene insist that he attempted to break into a nearby backyard.
The department still upholds their story that Clark was aggressively moving towards the two police officers when they fired on him although the bodycam footage shows something different. The department revealed that the South Sacramento police shot at him 20 times.
Although the names of the shooting officers have not yet been released publicly, last month, Black Lives Matters protesters confronted one of the officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark, hours before his wedding.
“I think they need to be approached in spaces where they’re a little more vulnerable,” said Sacramento BLM founder Tanya Faison.
“We’re not violent, we’re not gonna give to them what they brought to our community, we’re not gonna hurt anyone but we are gonna make them uncomfortable, and they should because someone is dead,” said Faison.
On video, the protestors surprised a group of men and said:
“I just wonder if you started planning your wedding before you killed Stephon Clark or after? How have you been sleeping since March 18?” said one protester in the video.
Sgt. Vance Chandler with Sacramento Police said contrary to popular belief, the officers are having difficulty leading normal lives following the shooting.
“People may think that these officers are just going about their lives, but this is a very traumatic event for everyone,” he said.