Civil rights charges will not be filed against the two officers accused of shooting and killing Stephon Clark.
In a press release issued Thursday, federal officials announced there was a lack of evidence in order to follow through on filing federal criminal civil rights charges against the Sacramento Police Department officers who shot and killed Clark in March 2018.
“After a careful and thorough review into the facts surrounding the shooting, federal investigators and prosecutors determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of the federal statute. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed,” read the Sept. 26 statement from the Eastern District of California’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The news release added that officials with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and career prosecutors in the Civil Rights Division made a “comprehensive, independent review of the events surrounding the shooting that resulted in Clark’s death.” Additionally, federal authorities looked over evidence from local law enforcement, including the Sacramento Police Department, as well as the California Department of Justice, which included witness statements, audio, and video recordings, police reports, and autopsy reports.
Last March, the two officers were responding to reports that a man was breaking into vehicles using a toolbar. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies circled the area and spotted the man in question, Clark, fleeing behind the back of his home. That’s where officers claimed Clark turned and approached them with something in his hands. The police fired multiple shots at Clark and he was pronounced dead at the scene, where a cell phone was later discovered.
Since then, Clark’s surviving family has continued to fight for justice in his killing. In January, his relatives filed a $20 million wrongful death suit against the city of Sacramento.