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The story of Stefan Clark – an unarmed African American murdered by US policemen

March 18 in Sacramento, California, the local police department received a call about a man engaged in hacking cars. Arrived at the scene of the accident, the crew found an alleged criminal, who turned 22-year-old Stefan Clarke. Noticing the officers, the man hid from them, but then changed his mind and went to the officers, holding a mobile phone in his hand. Which was the main mistake. The police took the mobile device for weapons and fired a series of shots, after which the man died.

Circumstances of the incident

On Sunday, March 18, two officers accepted the dispatcher’s request for a man who smashed car windows. Arriving at the reinforcement of the helicopter of the sheriff’s department noticed a man in one of the backyards who, using a toolbar, smashed the car window, and then drew attention to a nearby vehicle.

The officers arrived at the scene and entered the courtyard. There they spotted Stefan Clark, exactly suited to the description of the sheriffs and dispatcher, who ignored the police’s demand to stop and tried to escape from them.

The police, still giving orders, began to pursue their pursuit. At one point, Stefan apparently decided to surrender and headed toward the officers who took the phone in his hands for weapons and opened fire. Of the 20 bullets released, 8 were in Stefan.

“Show me your hands!” The weapon!

“Show me your hands!” The weapon! The weapon! The weapon!

After the shooting was over, the guards continued to steer the gun to Stefan, who was already lying on the ground. From the moment of the shots to the time when handcuffs were handcuffed and tried to provide first aid, it took five minutes. All this time, the officers stood side by side and did not try to save him, because they were not sure that Stefan was not armed. After the police found next to the body only iPhone, which belonged to the girl Stefan.

Upon the arrival of reinforcements, the officers muffled the microphones behind the chest cameras. That is not prohibited by the laws.

Recording from the camera of one of the officers. The shot moment is 7:45.

As it turned out later, Stefan was killed in the courtyard of his own house, where he lived with his grandmother, grandfather, brothers and sisters. He was also the father of two children aged 1 and 3 years.

Stefan’s grandmother said that before the shots she had not heard any orders, but only a series of shots, after which she fell to the floor and crawled to her granddaughter and her husband. After a while she looked out the window, where she saw the murdered grandson.

I opened that curtain, and he was dead. I started screaming.

Recording from the camera of the Sheriff helicopter. Moment of fire at 1:00


The police department began an investigation into the legality of the use of force by officers and sent them on paid administrative leave. The Attorney General of California said his department will monitor the progress of the investigation.


unarmed people killed by the US police in 2018, which is 4% of the total number of dead (294)

A wave of street protests

After the murder, many people came to the streets of the city, protesting against the arbitrariness of the police. During one of the rallies, the car of the sheriff’s department shot down the activist when she faced him. Members of the advocacy group who attended the rally reported that “the car before the collision greatly accelerated.” In a press release, however, the agency reported that the car was moving at slow speeds.

During one of the NBA games, the owner of the club Sacramento Kings called on all to cooperate to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Because of the wave of protests near the doors of the sports complex, the administration of the club delayed the start of the game, and also closed the doors of the arena, because of what not all the fans could get to their seats.

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

In connection with these events, the mayor organized a special meeting of the city council, where the African-American community expressed its complaints.

Each speaker received several minutes during which he could express his attitude to the current authorities and propose solutions to the existing problem. Members of the city council, led by the mayor, listened to everyone, simultaneously answering questions.

“America is drowning in racism!”, “Riots are the legitimate right of unheeded protest,” “Will you shoot me? Just because I’m in the hood and I have a phone in my hand? “,” You are shameful capitalists! American imperialism will soon fall! “- shouted from the rostrum residents who came to the meeting.

Meeting of the City Council of Sacramento, interrupted by protesters

One of the speakers suggested disarming the police, and to bring order to enter the US cities troops. The people gathered in the hall supported the man with a loud ovation.

And that, when another civilian shoots innocent people on the streets, you take away our firearms, so let’s do the same with law enforcement!

Reaction to an event

Donald Trump is very supportive of law enforcement agencies, the incident was a “local issue” that should be considered by local authorities.

White House press secretary

The mayor of the city initially stated that he would not doubt the decisions taken by the officers on the ground. But after receiving in his address a flurry of criticism – issued a new statement.

The video shooting of Clark made me feel terrible, the shooting was “wrong.”

Darrell Steinberg
Mayor of Sacramento

The officers may find it difficult to justify their conclusion that the man was armed, as they were told that he had a tool bar.

Jeffrey Alpert
professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina


This whole story confirms the fact that the US police are shooting at defeat under any threat to their own lives. Humane it or not, everyone decides for himself. The history of Stefan is not the only and not the most ambitious, but to answer the questions posed very well.

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