Home / U.S. / Stephon Clark’s brother talks about the mental health struggle

Stephon Clark’s brother talks about the mental health struggle

Stevante Clark, the brother of gunshot victim Stephon Clark, settled in his home on Tuesday night at the Sacramento City Hall.

Clark sat in a chair next to the Sacramento police chief, Daniel Hahn, and put his feet on the desk.

Shake the hand of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, weeks after cursing the mayor and jumping on the table during a loud meeting full of protesters. Stevante began his brief comments by directing the audience to chant his brother's name, and then asking to meet privately with Hahn and Steinberg. He urged members of the media to stop transmitting images of his brother's death because it is distressing for the family.

Clark, who recently sought mental health treatment after police were called to a hotel where his family was staying, acknowledged his recent mental health struggle with the council.

Steinberg assured him that "there is nothing to be ashamed of".

  Stevante Clark, Stephon Clark's brother, gestures during a meeting of the Sacramento City Council.

Stevante Clark, the brother of Stephon Clark, gestures during a meeting of the Sacramento City Council.

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

"We will help you, everyone wants to help you," Steinberg said.

"My heart is gone," Clark said, repeatedly banging his head. "Emotions, feelings …"

The police escorted two members of the audience of the council chamber without incident after repeatedly interrupting other speakers or using obscene language. Many of the approximately 60 activists and members of the community who spoke called for the two policemen to be fired and criminally charged, although experts cite court decisions that employ the lethal force of green lighting agents if they fear reasonably for their safety.

During the meeting, the Sacramento Police Department issued its new written policy on when officers can turn off the body's cameras after two officers silenced their microphones after Clark's fatal shooting. The 22-year-old black man was shot dead in the backyard of his grandparents.

  FEB. 19, 2015 FILE PHOTO

A new Sacramento police policy requires officers to express their reasons for turning off the microphone in body cameras.

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Images from Clark's corpse camera reveal that the two officers who shot him were told to mute his microphones several minutes after the shooting.

The new policy requires officers to verbalize their reasons for turning off the microphone.

Officers can turn off their cameras while dealing with a victim of sexual violence. Assault or if a supervisor tells them to do so. They can also turn off the equipment if a victim or witness refuses to give a statement to the camera and the situation is not conflicting, or when talking to a doctor, nurse or paramedic.

Steinberg said the council wants answers from Hahn in the coming weeks about improvements in its policies and practices. He told Hahn that reconsidering the department's persecution policy on foot to minimize the use of lethal force should be "a top priority" for consideration.

"I think it comes to the essence of what we saw on that videotape and the essence with which we are fighting together as a community," Steinberg said.

With News Wire Services

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