Attorneys Brian Panish, Rahul Ravipudi, Benjamin Crump and Dale Galipo traveled to Sacramento to discuss the results on an independent autopsy on the body of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed man shot and killed by Sacramento police on Sunday, March 18. Retained at the request of Stephon’s family, internationally renowned pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu performed the three-hour autopsy and revealed at a press conference that the eight bullets that struck Stephon hit him in the back or side, and one from the front, clearly refuting the contention by police that Stephon was moving toward them when they gunned him down.
Click here to watch the press conference in its entirety, courtesy of PBS News Hour.
According to Dr. Omalu’s findings, Stephon Clark was shot eight times with one front entry wound in his leg as he was falling. His independent autopsy identified three entry wounds in the lower part of Stephon’s back; one in the upper part of his back; one in the side of his neck, with an exit wound elsewhere in his neck; one in the back of his shoulder; one under an armpit entering from the side, and one in the outside of a leg. “He was facing the house when the first shot struck him, with his left to the officers” said Dr. Omalu. “He was not facing the officers. After he was shot, he was turned around. These are not my opinions, this is the prevailing scientific evidence as provided by the second autopsy.”
According to Dr. Omalu, each and every one of Stephon Clark’s wounds independently possessed a fatal capacity.
“These findings from the independent autopsy contradict the police narrative that we’ve been told,” said Attorney Crump “From the time this investigation began, statements provided by the Sacramento Police Department have proven to be self-serving, untrustworthy, and unreliable. This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”
Attorney Crump said the Clark family requested the independent autopsy after Stephon’s body was released to them by the medical examiner. Dr. Omalu has been widely hailed as the man who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, and its relationship to brain damage in football players. His story was illustrated in the theatrical film “Concussion,” in which he was portrayed by Will Smith.
“Beyond the fact that police at first said Stephon’s cellphone was mistaken for a gun, but then changed their story to say they thought it was a crowbar, our autopsy has shown that he was shot repeatedly in the back – which is certainly not characteristic of someone menacing officers or preparing an imminent attack,” Attorney Crump said.
Attorney Crump said he expects that authorities will try to dispute or minimize Dr. Omalu’s findings because they directly contradict the official story of this unjustifiable shooting. “When Dr. Omalu said football players were suffering brain damage, the NFL tried to dismiss his findings as completely wrong, but later had to reverse themselves. I’m sure the police will similarly try to discredit his findings about Stephon Clark, but once again the truth will win out.”
“The children lost their father and deserve justice,” said Brian Panish, who represents Stephon’s two sons. “We are conducting a thorough investigation to determine how this happened. Obviously there is a lot more to be done, we’re not jumping to any conclusions.”
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