Sacramento settles with parents of Stephon Clark for $1.7 million

The city of Sacramento will pay the parents of Stephon Clark, who was shot by police in 2018 while holding a cellphone, $1.7 million to settle the latter part of a lawsuit filed by Clark’s family, officials said Friday.

Clark, 22, was killed on March 18, 2018 when Sacramento police fired 20 shots, hitting him at least seven times. Officers had chased Clark into the backyard of his grandmother’s home after receiving reports of vandalism, saying he approached them with a firearm.

Clark was holding a cell phone at the time.

Investigations by local, state, and federal agencies determined the shooting was within guidelines of the Sacramento Police Department and state law.

In 2019, the city settled part of the lawsuit brought by Clark’s family, providing $2.4 million to his two children, leaving his parents the only remaining plaintiffs, according to a later court ruling.

“The decision to resolve the case through a negotiated agreement comes after careful consideration of all options,” Sacramento City Atty said. Susana Alcala Wood said in a press release on Friday. “We believe this is the best way forward for everyone involved, including our community.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg called Clark’s death “a tragedy that has brought pain and sadness to his family and our entire city.”

“Everyone wishes this heartbreaking event had not happened. A family lost a son, a grandson, a brother and a father,” Steinberg said in the statement.

The shooting drew national attention and sparked massive demonstrations in Sacramento.

The protests helped spur the passage of Senate Bill 1421, a police transparency law that requires law enforcement agencies to release personnel files during shootings, and Assembly Bill 392, which raised standards for when officers can use deadly force .

The Sacramento Police Department also made changes after the shooting, including updating its body camera and foot tracking policies “as well as developing a comprehensive use-of-force policy,” the city said. Sacramento settles with parents of Stephon Clark for $1.7 million

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