Responding to public outcry over a police shooting in which an unarmed black man was killed in his own backyard in Sacramento, Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California said Tuesday his office would step in to oversee the investigation.
The shooting of Stephon Clark, 22, widely viewed in publicly released police videos, has triggered demonstrations and community anguish, the latest example of an African-American man killed by the police under ambiguous circumstances.
Mr. Becerra, speaking with city officials, including the mayor and police chief, announced that the California Department of Justice would also review the Sacramento police’s training and policies regarding the use of force.
Chief Daniel Hahn of the Sacramento Police Department said he welcomed the state’s involvement in the wake of “extremely high emotions, anger and hurt in our city.” He said his department would grant full access to state investigators.
Mr. Clark was killed March 18 by officers responding to a report of a suspect breaking the windows of vehicles. Officers confronted Mr. Clark in the backyard of his grandmother’s home, where he lived, at which point he advanced toward the officers while extending an object, according to an initial police statement.
Video from body cameras and a police helicopter overhead showed that officers shouted that Mr. Clark had a gun, and then fired 20 shots, continuing to shoot after he dropped to his hands and knees.
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