Sacramento police officers cleared of federal charges in Stephon Clark shooting


SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The Sacramento police officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard in the spring of 2018 will not face federal charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Investigators said there was insufficient evidence to charge the two officers with federal criminal civil rights charges in Clark’s death.

Clark was shot March 18, 2018 after officers mistook his cell phone for a gun.

Nearly one year after Clark’s death, California’s attorney general announced the state would not pursue charges against the officers.

The Department of Justice and FBI’s announcement Thursday mirrors the state’s decision earlier this year.

That decision by the state attorney general sparked massive protests in Sacramento back in March, resulting in dozens of arrests.

Earlier this month, Clark’s children were awarded $2.4 million by the City of Sacramento as part of the settlement in the 22-year-old’s death.

In a statement issued today after the Department of Justice’s decision, the Sacramento Police Department said, “We recognize the impact this incident has had on our community and are committed to preventing harm or loss of life whenever possible.”

The officers involved in the deadly shooting were later identified as Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet.

Clark’s death prompted change in California’s standards for police use of force.

A bill signed in August by Gov. Gavin Newsom now requires police to only use deadly force when absolutely necessary rather then when reasonable.

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