SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Independent experts say video and audio recordings of Sacramento police officers fatally shooting a black man who turned out to be unarmed raise more questions than they answer.
Use of force expert Geoffrey Alpert says the officers may have a tough time explaining why they concluded that 22-year-old Stephon Clark had a gun when they were told he had a toolbar.
He also questions why officers turned off the microphones on their body cameras.
Professor of police studies Eugene O’Donnell says that in an ideal world they should not have waited five minutes to help the downed suspect. But former police officer Peter Moskos says the officers appear to legitimately believe they were in danger.
If so, he and police training expert Ed Obayashi say the shooting was likely legally justified.
Stephon Clark was killed Sunday by two Sacramento police officers. The department released video footage on Wednesday showing the officers yelling that Clark had a gun before firing. He was holding a cellphone.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento is organizing the rally for Thursday afternoon.
The group says the video shows the police murdered Clark “in cold blood.”
The group says it wants to show the city “we are not playing this game with black lives anymore.”
Sacramento Mayer Darrell Steinberg says he’s not going to second-guess the officers’ decisions but that a full investigation must be completed.
Video footage released by Sacramento police shows two officers yelling that a man had a gun before they fatally shot him.
The man, who was black, was unarmed and holding a cellphone in the backyard of his grandparents’ home.
The Sacramento Police Department has released two body camera videos, a sheriff’s department helicopter video and audio of the 911 call that preceded the Sunday night shooting.
Authorities have not released the man’s name. A woman who says she was his fiancee identified him as Stephon Alonzo Clark, 22, the father of her two sons, ages 1 and 3.
The videos never clearly depict what the man was doing in the moments before police fired. The police were responding to a call about someone breaking into vehicles and a neighbor’s home.