09:01 GMT24 November 2020
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    The Sacramento County Police Department released Stephon Clark's official autopsy results on Tuesday, which indicate that Clark was shot seven times by police, not eight, as the private autopsy done at the family's request suggested.

    Performed by Dr. Keng-Chin Su on March 20, the county autopsy determined that Clark was shot seven times — once in the left thigh, three times in the side and three times in the back.

    ​The Clark family had previously called on forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu to conduct an independent autopsy of Clark following his shooting death on March 18. Released on March 30, Omalu's findings revealed that Clark had been shot by Sacramento police six times in the back while two other bullets hit him toward the back of his ribcage and thigh.

    A toxicology report that was released in addition to the autopsy findings also noted that traces of cocaine, cannabis and codeine were found in the 22-year-old's system. Omalu's report did not specify whether Clark had any drugs in his system.

    In a letter included with the autopsy, Sacramento County Coroner Kimberly Gin called Omalu's report "erroneous" and stated that she sought the help of four other forensic investigators to review Dr. Su's examination of Clark's body.

    With three of the forensic pathologists agreeing with Su's conclusions, Gin noted that an independent review was conducted by the fourth investigator, forensic pathologist Dr. Gregory Reiber.

    "It is clear from review of the written report and photographic documentation that Stephon Clark was struck by seven bullets, not by eight as claimed by Dr. Omalu in his press conference statements and as shown on his autopsy diagram," Reiber wrote.

    Reiber, who works for the California's Placer County Sheriff as coroner's officer, did not examine Clark's body for his review. He instead relied on Sacramento's autopsy report, diagrams, photos, body camera videos and other evidence.

    Though Omalu had stated during his March conference that evidence showed Clark was facing away from officers during the shooting, Reiber says this wasn't so, either.

    "At no time does the video show Clark to have the left side of his body facing the officers' position as shots are fired, nor does the video show him turning around from a left-facing position, still upright, and putting his back squarely toward the officers as there were further shots fired which then dropped him," Reiber concluded. "The video evidence provides clear refutation of Omalu's description of Clark's positioning during the shooting as described in his press conference statements."

    Reiber added: "The cause of Stephon Clark's death is multiple gunshot wounds… the interval between injury and death would be several minutes as these factors worsened to the point of irreversible cessation of cardiorespiratory activity."

    A second release of video footage by the police department on April 13 confirmed that officers delayed medical attention to Clark by several minutes. Roughly five minutes passed from the time that Clark was shot to the point where officers decided to move closer to Clark. Another minute or so went by before officers began CPR.

    In response to the county trying to tarnish his work, Omalu fired back and told the Sacramento Bee that he found it "extremely unusual that an outside doctor is reviewing an autopsy report and is coming out to state [I] am wrong."

    "A doctor cannot say another doctor is wrong," he told the publication. "All you can say is, ‘I don't agree with the opinion of that doctor.'"

    The Sacramento Police Department said in a statement released Tuesday that the investigation was still ongoing and that the release was part of its initiative to keep the community in the loop "on significant facts related to this incident."

    Clark, a father of two, was shot multiple times and killed by police in his grandparents' backyard while unarmed. Officers who fired off some 20 rounds at Clark previously stated that they chose to shoot because they believed he had a weapon. Clark was revealed to be holding only a cellphone.


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    Sacramento County Coroner's Office, Sacramento Police Department, Stephon Clark, California, US
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