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In the case of 22-year-old, Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by police in his grandmother’s backyard after police mistook his cell phone for a weapon, an autopsy reveals that he was shot 8 times, mostly in the back, by the Sacramento police.
According to the New York Times, the autopsy commissioned by the Clark family and done by Dr. Bennet Omalu, shows Clark was “shot three times in his lower back, twice near his right shoulder, once in his neck (from the side) and once under an armpit. He was also shot in the leg,” and it appeared to have been fired after he was already falling.
The doctor confirmed that 7 of the 8 shots could have caused fatality, being that the shots fired caused severe damage to Clark’s body including “a shattered vertebrae, a collapsed lung and an arm broken into tiny bits.”
“Dr. Omalu said he believed the first bullet to hit Mr. Clark on his side caused him to turn, so he was facing away from the officers when they fired the barrage of bullets.”
Dr. Omalu says Clark lived for about 3-10 minutes after the shooting. Medical assistance did not arrived until 6 minutes after the shooting. In the body camera videos released by the police department, it can be seen that no immediate medical attention was given, as cops yelled for about 3 minutes at Clark asking if he were “okay,” telling Clark, “We need to get you medics but we can’t go over to get you help unless we know you don’t have a weapon.”
“Dr. Omalu said that he could not determine if Mr. Clark would have survived if he had received medical attention more quickly, but ‘every minute you wait decreases probability of survival.'”
The police involved claimed that Clark was advancing towards them with what they believed to be a weapon. In the body cam footage, it is unclear which way Clark was facing, but the autopsy contradicts the claims of the police, proving that Clark could not have been moving toward the officers when they opened fire.
The Sacramento Police declined to comment, saying it would be “inappropriate” since the investigation is ongoing. The officers involved are currently on paid administrative leave.
Written by Clarke Jones