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Brother, Al Sharpton speak at Stephon Clark funeral

Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 21:20:21-04

(RNN) – Stephon Clark, who was killed by police in Sacramento on March 18, setting off a wave of protests, was shot a total of eight times, seven in the back, according to an independent autopsy that was performed.

Former San Joaquin County forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu performed the independent autopsy. The Sacramento County coroner has not released their autopsy yet. 

Clark's family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, held the news conference at the at the Southside Christian Center in Sacramento.

Police said they thought Clark, 22, was armed when they shot him in the back yard of his grandmother's home. He was only carrying a cell phone.

Police were responding to reports of someone breaking into car windows on the night of Clark's shooting. They chased the father of two into his grandmother's backyard, where he was killed.

Clark was shot in the back directly six times, according to Omalu, with the seventh to the side of his body but toward his back. He was also shot in the neck and thigh.

Omalu cast doubt on the assertion Clark was facing police, saying, "During the entire interaction he had his back to the officers, not his front."

Omalu said Clark's death was "not instantaneous," estimating it took as many as 3-10 minutes. He posited the final shot, which hit Clark in the thigh, did so as he was falling or already on the ground. 

Protests followed the shooting and have continued to roil California's capital in the days since.

They gained particular attention for interrupting a number of Sacramento Kings basketball games. The team has generally offered support for the protesters.

Clark's funeral was held on Thursday. The Rev. Al Sharpton attended the service, and called for action.

"They've been killing young black men all over the country, and we are here to say that we're going to stand with Stephon Clark and the leaders of this family,” he said. “This is about justice. This is about standing with people with courage."

An investigation is being conducted into the shooting. California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, announced this week his office would oversee it.

One of the two officers tracking him yelled, "Gun!" several times before they opened fire. They were wearing body cams, which recorded the incident, but officers muted their cameras after they finished firing and began discussing the incident among themselves.

The city has yet to release the names of the officers who shot Clark.

Omalu, who performed the autopsy, gained fame as the doctor who brought attention to the effects of concussions on NFL players. He was played by Will Smith in the film "Concussion."

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