Minutes after Sacramento police fatally shot an unarmed black man in his own garden they muted their body cameras, footage released on Wednesday revealed.
The video was uploaded by the Sacramento Police Department two days after two of its officers shot dead 22-year-old Stephon Clark.
It was thought Clark was carrying a gun and a ‘toolbar’ at the time of the murder, but he turned out to be carrying only a mobile phone.
The body-cam footage shows officers shot him within seconds of chasing him into his grandparent’s garden where he was living.
Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Vance Chandler said:
There are a variety of reasons why officers have the opportunity to mute their body worn cameras.
Clark’s aunt, Saquoia Durham, said:
As soon as they did the command, they started shooting. They said ‘put your hands up, gun’ and then they just let loose on my nephew.
They didn’t give him a chance to put his hands up or anything, and then when they shot him down, they knew they messed up.
The officers, who are yet to be identified, have been put on paid administrative leave.
Police were alerted to the scene after a neighbour called 911 claiming to see a six-foot tall, thin male wearing a hoodie breaking car windows, including his own.
He did not state the suspect’s race during the call.
In the harrowing footage, two officers are seen driving to the location and chasing Clark into his grandparent’s back garden:
The officer takes cover behind a wall and then yells:
Show me your hands! Gun! Show me your hands! Gun, gun, gun!
Another officers then shoots multiple rounds at Clark. Shortly after, when backup arrives, one officers says, ‘Hey, mute.’ The audio is then stopped.
People on Twitter are discussing the questionable actions of the involved officers:
Shot 20 times for being 'armed' with a cellphone❣️Police muted body cams immediately after shootng
— ❦Jan❦ (@whiteangora) March 22, 2018
Bruh after his body hit the ground they fired like 5 more shots. Then later muted their cams….
— Uhhhh…yaadih (@ChocolateGelati) March 22, 2018
But he was unarmed. They muted the cam because they knew that they made a mistake.
— Craig Spencer (@craig04505) March 22, 2018
A rectangular phone in a white case = gun. That split second image = 20 gun shots of a man suspected of breaking windows with a crowbar. Video cams muted to make the conversation between the shooters private. Paid leave? The shooters are being paid? #brokenheart
— Lori (@lrogalsk) March 22, 2018
Another tragic case of an unarmed citizen having his life taken away in a senseless and shameless fashion.