The Christian Science Monitor

In California two proposed laws with one aim: saving civilian lives

The two police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark behind his grandmother’s home in Sacramento last March recounted their actions in interviews with police investigators later that night. Officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet described the frenzied seconds when they pursued Mr. Clark after responding to a report of a suspect breaking car windows on the city’s south side.

As a police helicopter swirled overhead, the officers spotted him at the side of the house and ordered him to stop and show his hands. He instead slipped around the back, and as they ran after him, Mr. Mercadal reached the rear corner of the house first.

According to interview transcripts released last week, the officer said he saw Mr. Clark in a shooting stance and “a metallic reflection or muzzle flash – something coming at me. So I – I was scared. I thought he was shooting at me.”

He lurched back behind the corner. Moments later, as captured in police videos, he and Mr. Robinet peered around it again and opened fire. They hit Mr. Clark at least seven times. He was unarmed; they found his cellphone on the ground next to his body.

Twenty-one seconds elapsed between when the officers first yelled at Mr. Clark and when

A dawning awareness‘A sense of justice’

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