Judge OKs $2.4 Million Settlement for Stephon Clark’s Children

In this Thursday, March 22, 2018, photo, a young man joins others at a demonstration outside the Sacramento City Hall to protest the shooting of Stephon Alonzo Clark, by a pair of Sacramento Police officers. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – The city of Sacramento will pay $2.4 million to the children of Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man shot and killed by police in 2018, under a settlement signed Wednesday by a federal judge.

The agreement settles the minors’ end of the $20 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Clark family this past January. Claims brought by Clark’s parents and grandparents remain and the parties are scheduled to appear in Sacramento federal court for a status conference on Oct. 24.

Clark was fatally shot in his grandparents’ backyard in 2018 after Sacramento police officers mistook his cellphone for a gun. The shooting was captured on body and police helicopter cameras, and it sparked widespread protests in the city and across the Golden State.

Local, state and federal prosecutors all found “insufficient evidence” and declined to bring charges against officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet, who fired a combined 20 times and killed the 22-year-old Clark. No firearms were found near Clark, who was hit several times in the back with his family just feet away in their living room.

Clark’s death helped inspire a landmark police use-of-force statute signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in September that requires officers to avoid deadly force and only shoot when “necessary.” California law enforcement officers have shot and killed more than 120 people in each of the last three years.

Clark’s two children will receive $1.2 million each per the settlement. The city has 21 days to deliver the funds to trust accounts and the family’s lawyers.

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