SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department has forwarded the results of its investigation into the death of Stephon Clark to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
The police department did not release any findings from its investigation, but it’s an important step in determining whether or not two officers who shot and killed Clark will face charges.
It did release details, including a timeline of events in the investigation.
Investigators received a final crime lab report earlier this month and finished its interviews on Oct. 15.
The district attorney’s office confirmed it received the results of the investigation on Thursday and the case is now under investigation. It did not elaborate on how long its investigation would take.
The California Department of Justice, which has been involved with the investigation, released a statement saying it also received the report.
The next step will be determining whether charges should be brought against the two officers who fired more than 20 times less than five seconds after making contact with Clark in the backyard of a relative’s home. The officers say Clark was pointing an object at them that they determined to be a weapon, but the only item found around Clark was a cellphone.
The shooting prompted weeks of protests in Sacramento, closing down a freeway, interrupting a city council meeting and even quashing attendance at two Sacramento Kings games by blocking the entrances to the Golden 1 Center.
The shooting lead to changes with Sacramento Police policies. At the time of the shooting, Sacramento Police were required to release all relevant body camera and dashboard camera video from significant incidents like this within 30 days. Police followed that policy, even releasing some of the critical videos just three days after the shooting.
But the videos raised more questions, including when officers were seen muting their body cameras before having a discussion minutes after the shooting. Some had raised concerns that it flew in the face of the transparency the ordinance was meant to create. In April, the police department revised its policy on muting body camera video.
Investigators say Clark’s cellphone was shipped to a private company to be analyzed on March 29, the same day of his memorial service and two days after a search warrant was obtained for the phone. They received the results of what was in Clark’s phone in July, and obtained another search warrant in August.
A final crime lab report of forensic evidence and the results of the August search warrant were received on Oct. 9, and the interviews were wrapped up on Oct. 15, 10 days before the police department handed its results to the district attorney’s office.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg released a statement on the investigation’s progress:
I understand and respect how anxious our community, the Clark family, and the police department itself are to have a conclusion reached on the Stephon Clark tragedy. As the Mayor of the City, I am likewise anxious for a timely and just outcome. The investigation now moves to the necessary next phase. I am hopeful that the District Attorney and the Attorney General will move expeditiously to reach its findings and recommendations.
Our City and Police Department have not waited for the investigation to be complete to work with our community to make important changes to our policies and procedures. Changing the foot pursuit policy to reduce confrontations and requiring the use of body worn cameras is only a start.
Our focus remains the same as in the days following this tragedy, reexamining our police practices,, avoiding unnecessary risks to both community members and police officers, addressing implicit bias, and aggressively confronting the underlying poverty that exists in far too many Sacramento neighborhoods
The death of one more young man of color is one too many.