The officers had been dispatched to investigate a vandalism complaint. Within 10 minutes of their arrival, after a brief pursuit, Mr Clark was dead.
“Was a crime committed? There’s no question that a human being died,” District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said on Saturday in Sacramento.
“But when we look at the facts and the law, and we follow our ethical responsibilities, the answer to that question is no. And as a result, we will not charge these officers.”
Ms Schubert said the officers had probable cause to stop and detain Mr Clark. She added that police officers are legally justified in using deadly force “if the officer honestly and reasonably believes” he is in danger of death or injury.
“We must recognize that they are often forced to make split-second decisions,” she said. “We must also recognize that they are under tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances.”
The officers fired their weapons 20 times within seconds of turning a blind corner. “Both officers believed that he was pointing a gun at them,” Ms Schubert said.
She added that she believed police video showed Mr Clark was “advancing” on the officers.
According to the complaint filed by Clark’s family:
‘On March 18, 2018, Clark was at his family’s residence located on the 7500 block of 29th Street, in the Meadowview neighborhood of Sacramento. While at his residence Officers TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET discharged their firearms at Clark approximately twenty (20) times, striking him approximately eight (8) times, including multiple shots to his back, causing him serious physical injury and eventually killing him.
Officers TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET fired approximately twenty (20) gunshots at Clark, including shots as he was going to the ground and shots after he had already went down to the ground. At the time of the shooting, Clark was unarmed, with nothing but a cell phone in his hand.
He posed no immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to either Officers TERRENCE MERCADAL or JARED ROBINET, or any other person, especially since he was unarmed and since he was going to the ground or already on the ground when he was shot, including multiple shots to his back.
Both Officers TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET did not give him a verbal warning that deadly force would be used prior to shooting him multiple times, despite it being feasible to do so and they did not issue appropriate commands to him. Further, the involved officers did not announce themselves as police prior to the shooting.
Further, Clark was not suspected of committing any serious crime, the involved officers did not observe him commit any crime, the involved officers had no information that DECEDENT was armed with a weapon, and there was no information that Clark had physically injured anyone.
The involved officers shot Clark even though he was not an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officers or anyone else and there were other less than lethal options available. Officers TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET did not show a reverence for human life. The involved officers are responsible for every single shot they fired and this was not an immediate defense of life situation.
After shooting Clark approximately eight (8) times, TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET did not provide or summons timely medical attention for DECEDENT, who was bleeding profusely and had obvious serious injuries, and TERRENCE MERCADAL and JARED ROBINET also did not allow and prevented responding medical personnel on-scene to timely render medical aid/assistance to Clark. [PDF]
In a media release after the shooting, police stated that they had been looking for a suspect hiding in a backyard. They said the suspect was a thin black man, 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm) in height, wearing darkly colored pants and a black hooded sweatshirt. A sheriff's helicopter spotted a man at 9:25 p.m. in a nearby backyard and told officers on the ground that he had shattered a window using a tool bar, run to the front of that house, and then looked in an adjacent car.
Police body camera footage from both of the officers who shot Clark recorded the incident, though the footage is dark and shaky. In the videos, officers spot Clark in his grandmother's driveway and shout "Hey, show me your hands. Stop. Stop." The video shows that the officers chased Clark into the backyard and an officer yells, "Show me your hands! Gun!" About three seconds elapse and then the officer yells, "Show me your hands! Gun, gun, gun", before shooting Clark.
According to the police, before being shot Clark turned and held an object that he "extended in front of him" while he moved towards the officers.The officers said they believed that Clark was pointing a gun at them. The police stated that the officers feared for their safety and fired 20 rounds, hitting Clark multiple times. According to an independent autopsy, Clark was shot eight times, including six times in the back. The report found that one of the bullets to strike Clark from the front was likely fired while he was already on the ground.
The Police Department stated on March 19, one day after the shooting, that Clark had been seen with a "tool bar". On the evening of that day, police revised their statement to say that Clark was carrying a cell phone, and not a tool bar, when he was shot.
Daniel Hahn, the city’s first black police chief, reiterated that the department required training related to race-based discrimination and de-escalation tactics. The black probot [a propagandizing programmed robot. A probot is a proxymoron who conveys programmed disinformation in computerized language and bureaucratese jargon. A probot is one who disseminates lies, distortions and convenient mass truths composed by a superior overruling elite. ] said the DA’s decision “is an important step in the process.” To misdirect away from the present moment, he explained the CA Attorney General still must review this case -thereby furthering hope of the believers in “the process.” Probots worship rules and obedience. Rules are their wiring or inner plumbing - as they possess a "ruled" mind-virus mentality.
During a news conference on Saturday, Mr Clark’s mother, Sequette Clark, expressed outrage at the decision not to prosecute.
She blasted Mr Schubert for delving into details she said were irrelevant to the officers’ conduct, including personal text messages and a toxicology report showing that Mr Clark had alcohol, codeine, marijuana, cocaine and Xanax in his system.