Stephon Clark's Independent Autopsy Report Reveals Multiple Gunshots to the Back

Stephon Clark's Independent Autopsy Report Reveals Multiple Gunshots to the Back

The results of the autopsy, initiated by Clark's family, appear to contradict the police claim. Dr. Omalu says his findings clearly refute the information from the Sacramento Police Department that says Clark was moving towards officers when they shot at him. Police said the officers feared he had a gun, but that he was later found to have been holding a cellphone.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Clark's family who spoke before Omalu on Friday, said the autopsy findings contradicted the police narrative of Clark's death.

An autopsy conducted by the Sacramento County Coroner earlier this week on Clark's body determined the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was a homicide, according to a preliminary autopsy report. "Each one of these bullets independently possessed a fatal capacity", said Omalu, who is known for identifying and describing the first instance of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in professional athletes.

The findings were released amid growing protests in California's capital city over the death of Clark, who was shot in his grandparents' backyard by officers responding to a call about a suspect breaking auto windows.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

The autopsy was released a day after an emotional funeral service at which the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, delivered the eulogy. The incident was captured on a body cam video released by police on Wednesday. "From the time this investigation began, statements provided by the Sacramento Police Department have proven to be self-serving, untrustworthy and unreliable".

The Sacramento police department is conducting an investigation into Clark's death, while the Sacramento County district attorney's office is also conducting its own review. "And it is possible they felt he was still reaching for what they thought was a gun".

Dr. Omalu said the autopsy suggested that Mr. Clark lived for three to 10 minutes after the shooting, adding to questions about the amount of time it took to get him treatment.

Police said they were responding to reports that a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt was breaking auto windows. "To me, (they) could be Stephon Clark".

Clark was laid to rest on Thursday, at a public service that was held at BOSS church in south Sacramento.

The first shot by Sacramento police officers hit Clark in the left side and back of the chest, with the bullet's propulsion probably forcing him to spin around so that his back faced the officers completely, Omalu said.

Outside experts who have examined the case say it will be hard to determine whether the officers could be held criminally accountable.

Seth Stoughton, a University of SC law professor and former Tallahassee, Fla., police officer who studies police shootings, said that "watching the helicopter video, it seems the officers are shooting after (Clark) is down on the ground".

"The remainder shots were IN HIS BACK!"

But "just because someone is on the ground, it does not mean they are not a threat", he said. One of the big questions we all have to ask is: "'What do we need to do for these shooting to stop?'"

"We are deeply saddened by the events associated with Stephon Clark's death, and will continue to do our part to make sure the community is healthy, safe and inclusive", the statement continued. Six of those shot hit him in the back.

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