Girlfriend rips DA shooting decision, says she’s struggling ‘without our beloved Stephon Clark’

Stephon Clark’s girlfriend criticized the Sacramento County district attorney’s decision not to prosecute the police officers who killed him — and ripped the DA for trying to portray their relationship as having gone sour.

Salena Manni, in a tearful statement to reporters Saturday night at Harmony Church in Oak Park, said DA Anne Marie Schubert was “continuing the shameful legacy of officers killing black men without consequences, and breaking my family’s hearts once again.” She said she and her two young boys, Clark’s sons, will now “continue to navigate the world without our beloved Stephon Clark.”

The two boys were at the press conference.

Manni was accompanied by the Rev. Shane Harris, of the San Diego civil rights group the People’s Alliance for Justice, and Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams, both of whom blasted Schubert for releasing text messages suggesting Clark had become despondent over their deteriorating relationship in the days leading up to the shooting. Schubert also revealed that Manni had told police two days before the shooting that Clark had assaulted her.

“You may have lied about his text messages but what have you done about the officers’ text messages,” Harris said. She said Schubert was trying to “criminalize men who cannot defend themselves.” Clark’s mother SeQuette Clark, who spoke to reporters earlier in the day, also appeared at Harmony Church and declared that the text messages were irrelevant.

“How many 20-year-olds get in arguments?” Harris said. “That does not mean he was a criminal.” He suggested Clark was trying to turn his life around and added: “We want DA Schubert to know you have victimized this woman, you have ... victimized the mother of these two children who’s going to have to go through life alone without these babies’ father.”

Manni, who broke into tears several times, took no questions from reporters.

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Dale Kasler covers climate change, the environment, economics and the convoluted world of California water. He also covers major enterprise stories for McClatchy’s Western newspapers. He joined The Bee in 1996 from the Des Moines Register and graduated from Northwestern University.