'We see judge, jury and executioner'
The Sacramento City Councilman who represents the neighborhood where Stephon Clark was fatally shot last month is raising more questions about the incident, but said he’s confident the investigation of the shooting will be fair.
Councilman Larry Carr, who represents Meadowview, said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the shooting of Clark “just doesn’t look right.”
In an interview with The Bee on Wednesday, Carr said there were several elements of the incident that troubled him. He said it “doesn’t look right” that officers turned off the microphones on their body cameras after the shooting.
Carr’s colleague, Councilman Allen Warren, said Tuesday he wants an ordinance passed that brings disciplinary action against officers who manipulate the audio or video feeds on their body cameras.
Carr said he also had concerns that officers were chasing a “suspected misdemeanor suspect” the night Clark was killed. Police were pursuing a man suspected of breaking into cars in Meadowview when they confronted Clark in his grandmother’s backyard.
Carr said it also doesn’t look right that police were “shooting at someone 20 times, hitting them six times in the back.” And he said another element of the incident he finds questionable is “not rendering (medical) aid for five or six minutes after an individual was down.”
Officers and emergency personnel waited several minutes to perform medical aid on Clark after he was shot.
“Whether or not (the shooting) was justified is going to come out in the investigation,” Carr said. “I will be interested to see if anything comes out in that investigation to help me believe that it does look right.”
Carr has called for the state to create an independent prosecutor to investigate fatal police shootings and, when appropriate, file charges. But he said he also has faith that District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert will conduct a fair investigation into the Clark shooting.
Carr, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the entire City Council have endorsed Schubert in her re-election campaign. So has the Sacramento police union.
Several speakers at Tuesday’s City Council meeting urged the mayor and council to revoke their endorsements of Schubert, citing her widespread support from the law enforcement agencies she is responsible for investigating.
“I have a lot of faith in her,” Carr said. “But my sense is that a lot of the public feels that given that the district attorney works so closely together with the police on other cases, (an independent prosecutor) would take that whole argument (of a conflict) out of the equation.”