Protests erupted in California after a California prosecutor announced that the officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark last year will not be charged with any crimes. Anaheim police misconduct attorneys have followed this case closely and know that even when criminal charges are not brought in police misconduct cases, civil claims are often filed seeking compensation for misconduct victims and their family members.
Stephon Clark police shooting
In March of 2018, a 911 caller reported that a male wearing dark pants and a black hoodie had broken car windows and was hiding in a backyard. Police responded to the call and found three vehicles with damage consistent with the 911 report. Police in a law enforcement helicopter reported seeing the suspect break the door of a home and jump a fence into another property. Police pursued the suspect on foot and said that they came upon the suspect with his arms extended forward in a shooting type stance and holding what appeared to be a gun. In response, they shot and killed the suspect.
No weapon was found
After the shooting, police body cameras recorded the police officers asking each other if they were okay and whether or not they had been hit. Investigators subsequently searched the scene and did not find a weapon, but found a cell phone close to the body. It turns out that the unarmed suspect, Stephon Clark, was in his grandmother’s backyard when police shot him.
No charges against officers
Nearly one year later in early March of 2019, it was announced that police would not be charged in the shooting of Stephon Clark. The prosecutor explained a combination of reasons for not charging the officers who were involved in the shooting including the following:
- Clark fled from police who were telling him to stop as he disappeared around a corner.
- He took a shooting stance with his arms extended towards the police.
- Evidence was found on Clark’s cell phone showing that he feared being arrested for domestic violence and that he was considering suicide.
People in the community were outraged over the decision not to charge the officers, which led to protests throughout California.
Protestors arrested but spared any charges
Protestors marched their way through East Sacramento streets after the announcement was made that no charges would be filed against the officers. It was reported that vehicles in the neighborhood where the protest took place were being vandalized and police ordered demonstrators to disperse. Police began detaining protestors and eventually arrested 84 people. The prosecutor’s office later announced that ‘in the interest of justice’ the 84 protestors who were arrested would not be charged with any crimes.
Types of police misconduct
The shooting death of Stephon Clark has been highly publicized and many believe this is just another incident of police misconduct. Other types of police misconduct that commonly occur include the following:
- Police brutality
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Unlawful arrest
- Wrongful conviction
- Coercing a false confession
- Sexual misconduct
- falsifying police reports
- Evidence tampering
- Racial profiling
- Police perjury
If you believe the police have violated your constitutional rights and you are a victim of police misconduct, contact an Anaheim police misconduct attorney at JML Law to discuss your claim. When your rights have been violated by the police, you deserve to be compensated.