Autopsy results for Stephon Clark to be announced: lawyer

Mourners embrace before the funeral services for police shooting victim, Stephon Clark at Bayside Of South Sacramento Church, in Sacramento, California, March 29, 2018. Jeff Chiu/Pool via Reuters

(Reuters) – Autopsy results will be announced on Friday for Stephon Clark, a black man who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police in Sacramento, California in his grandparent’s back yard, his family’s attorney said.

Clark’s death was the most recent of in a string of fatal shootings of black men by police that have triggered protests across the United States and renewed a national debate about bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Clark was shot on the night of March 18 in his grandparents’ backyard by police responding to a report that someone was breaking windows. Police said the officers who shot at Clark 20 times feared he was holding a firearm, but that he was later found to have been holding a cellphone.

The attorney representing Clark’s family Ben Crump and his legal team will announce on Friday morning the results of an independent autopsy that was conducted on the remains of the 22-year-old father of two, Crump said in a statement.

The shooting has sparked largely peaceful demonstrations in California’s capital city. On several occasions over the last two weeks, protesters have marched along city streets, held demonstrations and twice blocked fans from reaching games played by the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team at the Golden 1 Center.

On Thursday, at least 60 protesters gathered outside the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, holding signs such as “Prosecute” and “Justice for Stephon Clark.”

At the funeral service for Clark earlier in the day, veteran civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed a congregation of hundreds.

“We’re going to make (U.S. President) Donald Trump and the whole world deal with the issue of police misconduct,” he said.

The service at a church in California’s capital city came a day after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the shooting was a “local matter.” Sharpton criticized that comment and praised protesters who have blocked traffic in the city, saying they were non-violent.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said state investigators will oversee the investigation and review the Police Department’s procedures and practices.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)