Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet, the two Sacramento Police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmothers backyard, will return to full active duty and will not face federal civil rights charges.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn gave a statement Thursday saying that the internal review they conducted found no violations of departmental training. He also added that they are “committed to implementing strategies that may prevent similar tragedies in the future.”
“This incident has been thoroughly investigated by law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels,” Hahn told ABC Sacramento station KXTV. “Every one of these independent examinations has reached the same finding: The use of deadly force in this case was lawful.”
“The officers involved in this case will return to full, active duty,” Hahn said in a statement.
Stephon Clark was unarmed when he was shot and killed by the two officers on March 18, 2018. The officers, who were responding to a 911 call of someone breaking windows in the area, said they mistook Clark’s cellphone for a gun. Twenty rounds were fired, 8 of them striking Clark.
Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI met with Clark’s family to inform them of the decision on Thursday.
After receiving the news, members of Clark’s family said they will continue to fight for justice.
“We still want people to be held accountable,” Clark’s brother, Stevante Clark, said at a news conference.
“We will continue to fight for justice,” he said. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and today, justice was denied for Stephon Clark — for the third time.”
Stevante Clark also went on to say, “[the] Sacramento Police Department should know the difference between a gun and a cellphone, and my brother should be alive and with us today.”
Clark’s family also voiced their disapproval for the decision to reinstate the officers to active duty.
“My brother was killed, unarmed, in my grandmother’s backyard, and the same cop who killed him is back on the streets patrolling other communities, running through other people’s backyards,” Clark’s brother, Stevante told KXTV. “I’m uneasy with that. My heart is broken.”