SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Police have released hundreds of pages of their investigation into the Stephon Clark shooting, including first-hand accounts of that tragic night from the officers involved.
The newly released documents contain nearly 800 pages of police reports, investigative records, and crime scene photographs released by the Sacramento Police Department in order to comply with the new transparency law.
The first officer to arrive on the scene the night of the shooting, Terrence Mercadal, described his initial contact with Stephon Clark, telling the interviewing detective, “I had given him verbal commands to show me his hands. I remember yelling ‘Stop’ and then ‘Let me see your hands.'”
The detective then asked if he ever identified himself as a police officer. To which Mercadal responded, “I dont – I’m not quite sure if I had. If I did.”
At this point, the second officer, Jared Robinet, arrived on the scene and they chased Clark into the backyard.
The police report shows, in separate interviews just hours after the shooting, both officers said they were stunned to find Clark facing them in a shooting position.
Robinet said, “As soon as I turned the corner I saw him punched out like that. That’s a common firing position for a – I mean we’re – we’re taught in firearms
training. Was taught that in border patrol. Taught that here. I could see that there was something in the suspect’s hands. I wasn’t able
to make it out. I saw something reflection of what I thought was a metal object in his hand from the reflection
of our – out lights. Because the backyard was really dark.”
He then goes on to say that he heard his partner yell “gun” and said, “To be frank, I was really surprised that he hadn’t started shooting at us.”
That metallic flash was one of the five key reasons the attorney general cited for not charging the officers because it was clear they believed it was gunfire.
In his statement, the Mercadal claimed, “…at the time I thought I saw a muzzle flash. I was scared. – I was like, “oh my God this is – he’s shooting at me.”
Both officers say Clark advanced toward them, prompting them to open fire.
You can read the full report from the night here.