SACRAMENTO — The city of Sacramento will pay $2.4 million to the two sons of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police last year, according to court documents.
A quarter of the money, plus nearly $14,000 in expenses, will go to attorneys, and the rest into a trust for the sons of Stephon Clark, who was killed in his grandparents’ backyard as police pursued him as a vandalism suspect.
Clark’s sons, 2 and 5, will be able to access the money tax-free when they are between 22 and 25.
The shooting sparked months of protests that roiled Sacramento and prompted protests nationwide.
The settlement was first reported Thursday by The Sacramento Bee from settlement papers filed late Wednesday in federal court. The documents note that the family’s attorneys had been eligible for 36.6% of the settlement.
The Officers Said They Thought Clark Had a Gun
Clark’s family initially sought $20 million through a federal civil rights lawsuit. Clark’s parents and grandparents have not settled their claims.
County and state authorities declined to file charges against the two officers who shot Clark.
The officers said they thought Clark had a gun while he ran from police during a vandalism investigation. Investigators found only a cellphone after the officers shot him multiple times.
“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 said in a statement to the Bee. “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 said city officials believe aiding the children “will mark another step in the ongoing healing of our community from a tragic event.”