23:30 GMT27 November 2020
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    Newly filed court documents have revealed that the city of Sacramento, California, has agreed to fork over some $2.4 million to the children of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by police last year, in a bid to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by his family.

    The majority of the funds, which are just a sliver of the $20 million initially sought by Clark’s family in their lawsuit, will be placed into a trust account for Clark’s two- and five-year-old sons. Between the ages of 22 and 25, the pair will receive three tax-free payments, according to the Sacramento Bee.

    A quarter of the funds, in addition to $14,000 in expenses, will be handed over to the family’s attorneys, according to court documents, which also state that both Clark’s parents and grandparents “have not settled their claims.”

    “This is a complex case that at its core involves a lawful use of force by Sacramento Police Department officers,” City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood told the Bee in a statement. “This fact has been confirmed by both the Sacramento County District Attorney and the California State Attorney General.

    “In this case, the city of Sacramento has determined that this partial resolution of the lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Clark’s family is in the best interest of our community. The agreement brings a key portion of the case to a conclusion, and avoids a potentially lengthy and expensive litigation process,” she added, noting that the partial settlement marks “another step in the ongoing healing of our community from a tragic event that caused pain to Mr. Clark’s children and family, to the Meadowview community, and to our entire city.”

    A verbal settlement was previously reached between the city and Clark’s family in June 2019; however, a figure amount was not released following the closed-door negotiations at that time.

    Clark was gunned down by two officers with the Sacramento Police Department on March 18, 2018, while standing in his grandparents’ backyard. Police were directed to his location after receiving reports of an individual breaking car windows in the area. 

    Released body camera footage shows that six seconds after coming into contact with Clark, the pair of officers fired the first of some 20 bullets in his direction after claiming to have spotted a firearm. Officers never found any weapon on Clark - just a cellphone that they would later find out belonged to his girlfriend. Clark, who was 22 years old at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    An independent autopsy ordered by Clark’s family revealed that Clark was shot six times in the back, and that two other bullets struck him toward the back of his ribcage and thigh. His left lung and vertebrae received extensive damage as a result of the shooting.

    The officers, later identified as Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, were initially placed on administrative leave following the shooting; however, with both county and state authorities having declined to file charges against the duo, they have remained with the department.

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    Tags:
    lawsuit, Shooting Death, Stephon Clark, Stephon Clark, California, Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento
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