Police in Sacramento, CA were looking for a man breaking in cars with a toolbar yesterday when they found 22 year old Stephon Clark in his own backyard holding a cell phone, which the officers believed to be a weapon. They then proceeded to shoot Clark 20 times. You can read the full story HERE
I am not a police officer. I have never been a police officer. I openly admit that it is probably a difficult, stressful job. However, I do imagine that if I was a police officer, it would be very important in my training to know the difference between a weapon and a cell phone. If I was unable to tell the difference, I should not be allowed to be a police officer.
The officers in this case shot Clark 20 times. They weren't firing off warning shots or trying to injure Clark, they shot him to death. 20 times. The officers were wearing body cams, and if the body cams show what we believe they show, they will provide pretty incriminating evidence. However, if Sacramento chooses not to charge and convict the officers responsible, what good are the body cams doing? We've seen numerous police killings of unarmed black men caught on camera and convictions are rare, which is why this keeps happening. If all police officers actually received harsh punishments for murdering unarmed people of color, maybe they would think twice before shooting once, much less 20 times.