One Year Since Stephon Clark


Cordova High students walk out in protest of the DA’s decision, Mar. 8 2019. Picture courtesy of Colby William.

Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

Monday, the 18th marks the one year anniversary of the shooting of Stephon that took place at his grandmother’s Meadowview backyard in Sacramento.

It was just last Saturday that the District Attorney, Anne Marie Schubert held a press conference to deliver the news of her final case decision. The two police men that wrongly fired at Clark over five times would not be charged.

Schubert’s decision wasn’t unlikely, in her time as DA she has covered over 30 officer-involved shooting cases, none of which she charged. Yet the news caused massive protests to break out in Sacramento, just as they did when the incident occurred last year.

Now, activists, students, political leaders, and pastors are rallying for the injustices Clark and his family face.

The DA wrote, “The evidence in this case demonstrates that both officers had an honest and reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury”, in a seven page summary of her report. “Therefore, the shooting of Mr. Clark was lawful and no criminal charges will be filed.”

Sequette Clark, Stephon’s mother spoke to reporters of the decision, she was distraught about what she referred to as a smear campaign about his character,” referring to Schubert’s disclosure of text messages between Clark and Salena Manni, the mother of his children, who had filed a domestic violence complaint against him two days before his shooting. Schubert also included toxicology results showing traces of cocaine and other drugs in Clark’s system.

Sequette, like many protesters don’t believe this is a reason to justify the shooting of Clark. Saying that character, criminal or not, is not a significant reason for the unjustly shooting to be dismissed.

Picture courtesy of Colby William.

The Freelancer asked CHS students what side they’re on, and whether or not they believe the DA was right in her choice.

Niko Santana (‘21) believes “The cops had the right to subdue him, but I don’t believe they had the right to use a loaded firearm. His shooting wasn’t justified but I don’t think it was unjustified to chase him because he did decide to run, sadly.”

Like Santana, Yami Gomez (’19) believes the officers were wrong in their actions, she said, “No person should go to their own backyard scared for their life. Clark shouldn’t have been shot excessively.” She goes on to note, “The officer said he was scared for his life, but he was the one pursuing Clark.”

Gomez participated in CHS’s walkout on Mar. 8 last week, she was glad to see that people at her school cared enough to participate in the peaceful protest and take part in making a change.

Clark’s case made an impact on more than just the Sacramento community, his unjustly shooting and the result of it will work to change the atmosphere around officer-involved shootings, working to make the standard for deadly force used by an officer from “reasonable” to “necessary.”