Following Arrests, Mental Issues, Stephon Clark's Brother Is Running For Mayor
Sacramento, CA – The brother of a man who was killed by Sacramento police has announced he is running for mayor of that city in 2020.
Stevante Clark, 25, filed paperwork with the California Secretary of State on Monday to open up two campaign finance committees, one of which directly references the next mayoral election, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Stevante is the older brother of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was killed in a shooting by Sacramento police on March 18.
He has been a vocal critic of the mayor and the Sacramento Police Department in the wake of his brother’s death, and has indicated a desire to get involved in city politics on multiple occasions.
As soon as news of Stephon Clark’s death made it into the community, protests broke out across the city based on an incorrect narrative that that Stephon Clark was an "unarmed black man" who was shot in the back "in his own backyard."
Stevante Clark carried that narrative into city council meetings and the media in the chaos that followed his brother’s death, and then had to receive inpatient mental health treatment after an encounter with police responding to a 911 call about a disturbance.
He then caused a major disturbance at a city council meeting on March 27, marching up to the dais and leading chants after asking Sacramento if they loved him.
On that occasion, the mayor ended up shutting down the meeting after Stevante told him to “shut the f--k up.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that he was booked into the Sacramento County Jail and held on $1 million bail, but also noted that his charges made him ineligible for bail.
Court records showed that one of his roommates had sought a restraining order Stevante alleging that he made threats against her, and the request was granted.
Around the same time, he posted a video to his Facebook page in which Stevante carried a dagger or machete and demanded "I want the mayor, I want the chief."
Family members said Stevante was still emotionally unstable and blamed his criminal actions on struggling with his brother’s death.
Stephon Clark was shot by police in March after a 911 call came in to report a man breaking into vehicles, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Detectives did find three vehicles that had been broken into while investigating the incident.
A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter responded and located Stephon Clark using a "tool bar" to break out a rear sliding glass door belonging to his grandparents’ 88-year-old neighbor Bill Wong.
After the helicopter began tracking Stephon, he started fleeing south. This was captured on the helicopter's camera which, you can watch HERE.
Stephon jumped a fence, and started looking in another vehicle.
Officers on the ground arrived and ordered Stephon to stop and show his hands. Rather than comply with the officers' commands, he fled to his grandparents' backyard.
Police released 911 call recordings from Stephon Clark’s grandfather and his grandparents’ next door neighbor in which a man believed to be Stephon Clark's grandfather, Tommy Thompson, told the dispatcher that someone was in his backyard "beating on my window and I don't know what's going on," KCRA reported.
The grandfather, who had lost both of his legs to complications with diabetes, told 911 that he couldn’t get out of bed to see who was beating on his window.
Police advised the man to stay inside until he was contacted by police, KCRA reported.
Family members later said relatives regularly knocked on the rear window so Thompson could use a remote garage door opener to let them into the house, but his reaction and recorded 911 call the night of the shooting indicated otherwise.
Bodycam video captured Stephon Clark facing officers as he extended his arm toward officers with an object in his hand.
In the video, you can hear an officer yell, "Gun, gun, gun" as it appeared the suspect was taking a shooting stance.
Each of the two officers fired 10 rounds at Stephon Clark, fatally shooting him. It was later discovered that the object in his hand was a cell phone.
In April, the Sacramento Police Department released video from an additional 23 dashcams, 28 bodycams, two 911 calls, and the rest of the video from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter that was over the scene at the time of the shooting, KCRA reported.
“The BWC and ICC videos contained in this release depict officers responding to the scene after the officer-involved shooting (OIS) occurred, and their activities upon arrival,” Sacramento police said in a statement, according to KCRA. “The time frame of this material is from when the officers begin their response to when the Sacramento Fire Department declares Mr. Clark deceased.”
"He looked back at our officers and faced them,” Sacramento Police Department (SPD) Sergeant Vance Chandler said, according to WGNO. “[He] had something, an object in his hand, and pointed it at our officers, and at that time our officers believed it was a firearm, and out of fear for their own lives they fired their service weapons."
If elected, Stevante planned to open resource centers in his brother’s name at the city’s expense in “underdeveloped communities,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
He said he planned to propose a set of police reforms called the Clark Family Act to city leaders in the coming weeks.