April 17 (UPI) — Newly released video footage of the Stephon Clark shooting in Northern California appears to show police officers waiting five minutes to provide medical assistance.
The footage was included among 52 videos and one audio file released by the Sacramento Police Department Monday.
Clark, 22, was standing in his grandmother’s yard when he was shot eight times by police on March 18, after officers responded to reports of a car vandal. A forensic pathologist later determined it took between 3 and 10 minutes for Clark to die.
Authorities said the officers shot Clark because they believed he held a weapon. A cellphone — but no gun — was found near his body. Officers are heard in the video saying they thought Clark had a gun.
The footage confirms that after shooting Clark, officers waited nearly five minutes before approaching — and took about a minute to handcuff and search him before starting medical aid. By the time emergency personnel arrived, Clark had died.
“I shot five times,” one officer said in the video.
“Bring some [non-lethal force] just in case he’s pretending,” an officer is heard saying after the shooting, with another observing that Clark was “trying to get air.”
“We are looking for a response from the chief whether or not (officers) followed proper protocol, and if they did, how can we make the necessary changes so this doesn’t happen to another member of our community,” Rashid Sidqe, a police reform activist with the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive, told the Sacramento Bee.
“The five minutes lapse in time, I’m not sure if it would have saved the life of Stephon Clark, but it would have increased the chances.”
Other videos show officers muting the cameras.
“You muted?” one officer said, to which another answered, “Yep.”
Sgt. Vance Chandler with the Sacramento Police Department said determining why the officers muted their cameras will be part of the investigation.
The video footage was collected from the officers’ body cameras and dashboard-mounted cameras inside their patrol cars.