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Family of unarmed man killed by police to file federal lawsuit

CBS News logo CBS News 3/30/2018

Rev. Al Sharpton (L), gestures next to Stevante Clark during the funeral services for police shooting victim Stephon Clark at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church in Sacramento, California, U.S., March 29. Protests Over Deadly Sacramento Police Shooting

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Lawyers for the family of Stephon Clark told CBS News they plan to file a federal lawsuit as soon as Friday over his death in a police shooting. He was unarmed when two officers killed him on March 18. Hundreds attended the 22-year-old's funeral on Thursday and protesters again took to the streets.

The family also said they'll hold a press conference at Southside Christian Center on Friday to release the findings of an independent autopsy, reports CBS News' Jamie Yuccas. Meanwhile, community leaders continue to call for peace and reconciliation following Thursday's services, when Clark was laid to rest.

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An emotional Stevante Clark kissed his brother Stephon's casket next to a wreath saying "rest in power" before leading the congregation in the chant, "I am Stephon Clark."

Police shot at Clark 20 times in his grandmother's backyard, believing the cell phone he was holding was a gun. The Reverend Al Sharpton criticized the White House for calling the shooting a "local matter." After the funeral, Clark family attorney Ben Crump called for peace.


"Stephon Clark did not choose violence that night," Crump said. "We must choose nonviolence to make sure that we protest in our most productive way possible."

Black Lives Matter protesters blocked intersections as they marched through downtown Sacramento, but they did not target the NBA stadium where the Kings were playing as they had twice before. Outside the arena, Stevante Clark was seen shaking hands with police. The Kings announced Wednesday that they will partner with Black Lives Matter to fund youth programs and bring "transformational change" to the city's black communities.

"My God, that's huge," Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison said of the announcement. "A lot of people keep asking, why did you go shut down the Golden 1 Center? That's why, and look at what happened. So, protest works."

Kings players are set to attend Friday night what's being called a "youth voice forum for healing." Hundreds are expected to attend.

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