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Stephon Clark's family files claim for huge sum over 'unreasonable force' used by cops

Crime
Stephon Clark's family has filed a $35 million claim against the city of Sacramento for Clark's death at the hands of police. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The family of the late Stephon Clark is seeking $35 million from the city of Sacramento in a wrongful death claim against the city, months after police officers shot and killed Clark during a pursuit, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Clark was killed in March after officers pursued him as a suspect in multiple car break-ins. Clark fled into his grandmother's backyard, where police shot him more than 20 times after mistaking his cell phone for a gun.

"It should be $100 million," said Black Lives Matter activist Tanya Faison told KOVR-TV. "I mean, anyone that says it's excessive does not value life."

More about the claim

The family is seeking $20 million for Clark's two sons and more than $15 million for Clark's parents and grandparents, alleging the police were guilty of false imprisonment, battery, negligence, failure to summon medical attention, and wrongful death due to the use of "excessive and unreasonable force."

The officers who shot Clark waited about five minutes after he went down to approach him and attempt to provide medical assistance.

"Stephon Clark never verbally threatened anyone, and he was unarmed when he was fatally shot multiple times, including numerous shots to his back, shots while he was going to the ground and shots after he had already went down to the ground," the claim reads. "At the time of the shooting, Stephon Clark posed no imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to either the involved officers or any other person."

Anger still simmering

The wounds caused by Clark's death have not totally healed in the city of Sacramento, where many are still waiting for justice, in their view, to be served.

"I hope they get every cent they're asking for," Faison said. "I do think that we need more than that though. I think that in order for us to get actual justice, we need charges to be filed, we need officers to be fired from their jobs and they need to be punished like they're regular citizens for murdering somebody."

The city has not commented on the claim, which is a likely precursor to a lawsuit.

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