The city of Sacramento has agreed to pay $2.4 million to the sons of Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man fatally shot by police early last year.
According to court documents released Thursday, a quarter of the money, including $14,000 in expenses, will go to the family’s attorneys, while the rest will go into a trust for Clark’s young boys, aged 2 and 5. Both will have access to the money once they’re between 22 and 25 years old.
City officials said they believe aiding Clark’s children “will mark another step in the ongoing healing of our community from a tragic event.”
The Sacramento man was gunned down in his grandparents’ backyard in March 2018 as officers responded to reports of a vandalism. At that time, police said they thought Clark, 23, was armed with a gun. However, only a cellphone was recovered after officers had shot him several times.
The young man’s killing sparked weeks of protests, and Clark’s family filed a $20 million wrongful death suit in January accusing the two officers — Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet — of violating his constitutional rights. The city was also named in the federal civil rights complaint.
“Plaintiffs have also been deprived of the lifelong love, companionship, comfort, support, society, care and sustenance of [Clark] and will continue to be so deprived for the remainder of their natural lives,” it read.
According to CBS Sacramento, a verbal settlement was reached in June between the city and Clark’s family, the details of which were only made public until Thursday.
Prosecutors have declined to file criminal charges against the cops accused of gunning down Clark, a decision decried by the slain man’s family. Clark’s parents and grandparents haven’t yet settled their claims.
“This is a complex case that at its core involves a lawful use of force by Sacramento Police Department officers,” City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood told the Sacramento Bee, which first reported the settlement.
“In this case, the city of Sacramento has determined that this partial resolution of the lawsuits filed on behalf of Mr. Clark’s family is in the best interest of our community” in part because it avoids potentially lengthy and expensive litigation, she added.
Thursday’s settlement is pending approval by a judge.
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