Posted on May 3, 2018

Stephon Clark Official Autopsy Released. Family Autopsy Was ‘Erroneous,’ Coroner Says

Sam Stanton, Anita Chabria, Ryan Lillis, and Ed Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, May 1, 2018

Six weeks after Sacramento police shot unarmed Stephon Clark to death in a dark Meadowview backyard, police released the county coroner’s autopsy report Tuesday that differs sharply from the family’s private autopsy findings that said he was shot six times in the back.


Among the new findings: Clark was shot seven times – not eight – and three of the shots — not six — were fired into his back.

The findings are starkly different from those presented March 30 by Dr. Bennet Omalu, a noted pathologist hired by the Clark family legal team, who defended his work Tuesday.

A toxicology report also released by police found traces of cocaine, cannabis and codeine in Clark’s system. Codeine and hydrocodone were found in Clark’s urine.

“It is clear from review of the written report and photographic documentation that Stephon Clark was struck by seven bullets, not eight as claimed by Dr. Omalu in his press conference statements and as shown on his autopsy diagram,” wrote Dr. Gregory D. Reiber, a Roseville pathologist who reviewed the county’s autopsy {snip}.


Omalu said at his March press conference that Clark was not facing officers when they opened fire, but that his left side was toward them and the first bullet struck in the side. The force of that bullet spun him around with his back to officers, leading to six rounds hitting him in the back, Omalu said.

Reiber disagreed, saying that the first shot to hit Clark “was most likely” to the left thigh and that it was sustained “either as Clark was walking toward the officers’ position with his left thigh raised, or possibly in the crouching position.”

“At no time does the video show Clark to have the left side of his body facing the officers’ position as shots are fired, nor does the video show him turning around from a left-facing position, still upright, and putting his back squarely toward the officers as there are further shots fired which then dropped him,” Reiber wrote. “The video evidence provides clear refutation of Omalu’s description of Clark’s positioning during the shooting as described in his press conference statements.”