Sacramento Reaches Tentative Deal With Stephon Clark’s Kids

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 family of Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man fatally shot by Sacramento police officers in 2018, reached a tentative partial settlement Tuesday with the city in its federal lawsuit, according to a court notice.

According to a docket update, the parties met in Sacramento federal court Tuesday for a settlement conference and terms of the settlement were given on the record during the hearing. The update only mentions the claims brought by Clark’s two surviving children and are still subject to Sacramento City Council’s approval.

Clark’s sons, parents and grandparents filed a joint $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city in January. In it, the family claims two officers didn’t identify themselves when they chased Clark through a Sacramento neighborhood into the back yard of Clark’s grandparents. The officers then fired 20 shots at Clark while his grandparents “watched in horror,” according to the lawsuit.

The 22-year-old father of two was unarmed and clutching a cellphone when officers fired on him.

Plaintiffs’ counsel didn’t immediately return requests for comment regarding the docket update Tuesday evening. City communications manager Tim Swanson said a “final settlement has not been reached and the City Council has not approved a settlement,” which is standard procedure for settlements with municipalities.

Less than two months after the family sued, veteran District Attorney Ann Marie Schubert decided not to bring charges against officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet. She said her investigation backed up the officers’ claim that they believed Clark was armed, ignored commands and was walking toward them.

Schubert’s presentation focused mainly on Clark’s mindset and not on the officers, as her office did not interview either and instead relied on reports conducted by the police department and the state attorney general’s office.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman ordered the parties to submit a joint status report by June 25 and set another status conference for July 2. Newman also sealed the transcripts from Tuesday’s conference.

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