03.27.2018

Grandmother of slain Sacramento man calls for police changes

Grandmother of slain Sacramento man calls for police changes (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The grandmother of an unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police called Monday for changes in the way police confront suspects, such as sending in a police dog, using a Taser, or aiming for an arm or leg when shots are fired.

Sequita Thompson said at an emotional news conference that police didn’t need to shoot at 22-year-old Stephon Clark 20 times, killing him in her darkened backyard March 18.

“They didn’t have to kill him like that, they didn’t have to shoot him that many times,” she said through sobs, recounting the night of his slaying. She believes Clark was in the backyard trying to get into the house he shared with his grandparents and other family members when he was shot.

He’s the latest prominent face of young black men killed by police nationwide, said the family’s renowned civil rights attorney, Benjamin Crump. He called it an “execution” of a man who “chose nonviolence” and was found with only a cellphone and not the handgun police thought he was aiming in their direction.

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