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California AG joins investigation into shooting of unarmed black man

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is planning to provide “independent oversight” in the investigation into the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Sacramento earlier this month.

“I stand together with Sacramento law enforcement, city and community leaders to announce that the California Department of Justice will lend our experience to ensure the investigation into the tragic death of Stephon Clark is fair, thorough, and impartial,” Becerra said in a Tuesday statement. 

“We take on this responsibility in full recognition of the importance of getting it right — because there is nothing more important than respect and trust between law enforcement and the communities that they are sworn to protect as we work to keep all Californians safe.”

{mosads}Clark, 22, was killed on March 18 by police who were investigating calls of a suspect smashing in car windows. Police claimed they thought the cellphone in Clark’s hand was a gun.
 
Body camera footage shows officers checking yards and speaking with neighbors before a sheriffs helicopter spots Clark, who was in his grandmother’s backyard.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn on Tuesday called the death of Stephon Clark “a tragedy that no one wants to see or experience.”

“Due to the nature of this investigation, extremely high emotions, anger and hurt, I felt it was in the best interest of our entire community to ask the attorney general to be an independent part of the investigation,” Hahn said, according to CNN.
  
Massive protests broke out at City Hall after news of the shooting. Officers involved have been put on paid leave as the city investigates.
 
Becerra, a former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, resigned his house seat last year in order to take on the job of California’s top law enforcement official. He is playing a lead role in the blue-state challenge to the Trump administration’s move to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
Tags California police shooting Sacramento Xavier Becerra

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