As the investigation into the police shooting of Stephon Clark unfolds, evidence has surfaced indicating the officers involved tried to cover up the killing.
Activist Shaun King shared newly-released video footage on Twitter in which additional police officers arrived on the scene after Clark was killed.
In a newly released video we see more police on scene after #StephonClark was murdered covering it up.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 19, 2018
Here, another officer on the screen is telling two other officers:
"Mute it. Mute it."
He's telling them to mute their body cameras, making the footage virtually worthless. pic.twitter.com/QB1C3OI9zP
One cop says, "Oh, fancy seeing you all here."— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 19, 2018
Mind you it's a scene of a brutal murder.
Fellow cop then says, "Mute it. Mute it."
A cop starts to talk before it's muted, then another cop interjects and says "WAIT" then it goes silent. #StephonClark https://t.co/jWr89TWXKH
One officer on the screen can be heard telling two other officers, “Mute it. Mute it,” referring to muting the audio on their body cameras so that their discussion would not be recorded.
The Washington Post reports that in the series of clips released by the Sacramento Police Department, officers muted their bodycams at least 16 times.
Police spokesman Vance Chandler reportedly said that the procedure for muting and disabling cameras is being addressed in the investigation; however, ironically, new policies were purportedly being discussed before Clark’s killing.
Police Chief Daniel Hahn said during a city council meeting last week that at the time of the shooting, the department’s body camera policy focused on deactivation but failed to address all instances of muting.
The updated policies that have been implemented since Clark’s death allow officers to mute their cameras in special circumstances, such as protecting victims of sexual assault or when talking with a medic, according to Hahn.
In other instances, when an officer thinks muting their camera is necessary, they must now verbally explain the circumstances while the audio is still recording.
This all comes just days after reports revealed that Clark did not receive CPR for nearly five minutes after he was shot. No other lifesaving medical aid was delivered prior to that.
The reason for the long delay was that the cops feared that Clark was armed and may have only been pretending to be dead. Supposedly, none of the officers wanted to move in on him in case he was going to raise a weapon.
The officers' handling of this situation indicates that even as Clark's lifeless body bled out on the ground in front of them, the cops still saw him as a threat. And now, we will never know what these officers said to one another in those critical moments after gunning the unarmed black man down.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaska