Prosecutor In Stephon Clark Case Received $420,000 From Police Organizations
It's been just under a year since 22 year old Stephon Clark was gunned down by police in his grandmother's backyard. He wasn't armed. He wasn't attacking the officers. But he committed the capital offense of being a black man holding a phone. This was enough to get him shot seven times by cops.
This week, to the surprise of depressingly few Americans, it was announced that the officers involved in Clark's shooting wouldn't face indictment for their actions. This particular element of this incident is par for the course. Incidents of police being indicted for their roles in shooting unarmed citizens are almost nonexistent. All they need in order to be free and clear is to invoke the party line that they “feared for their life.” As long as that claim is made, there's not a cop in America who's going to face a judge for shooting an unarmed man. This is especially true if that man boasts a shade darker than a chai latte. It's been shown to us time and again.
But there's an extra layer to the (not so) thin blue line at play in the Stephon Clark case. Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert received a staggering $420,000 from police organizations. In fact, Shubert collected $10,000 from the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and $3,000 from the Sacramento County Alliance of Law Enforcement just days after Clark was killed by police.
Shubert has a history of not holding anything with a badge accountable, so there's a good chance that the police organizations made a smart investment in the prosecutor.
In a March 2018 article for The Intercept, Shaun King reported “Two years before Clark was killed, police shot and killed a mentally ill, homeless man named Joseph Mann. Police tried to run Mann over with their car, according to a review of video from the incident by the Sacramento Bee. On a dashcam recording, an officer could be heard saying, “Fuck this guy. I’m going to hit him.” His partner responded: “OK. Go for it.” While officers claimed that Mann lunged at them before they shot and killed him in a hail of gunfire, the Sacramento Bee found that Mann’s feet were actually planted at the time of the shooting.” The officers involved where never even put before a judge for the incident, while Mann was dead and buried.
The details in the shooting death of Clark aren't much better. After the unarmed Stephon was incapacitated by the seven projectiles that ripped through his body, no aid was rendered. The police involved, apparently not dissuaded from fearing for their lives simply because their subject was bleeding out, refused to approach Clark. They just let him die in his grandma's yard.
The fraternity between police and prosecutors has always caused a pretty serious impediment to justice where officers are concerned. The trepidation of DA's to indict cops has been widely recognized throughout the country for decades. However, when you introduce the corrupting influence of nearly half a million dollars, true justice is completely out of the question.
In all of the feigned pomp and pageantry that comes with the usual muted outrage and pearl clutching from mainstream pundits that follows a shooting of this kind, the legalized bribery of the prosecutor who was instrumental in throwing out the case against the police involved has gone woefully under reported. The reality of the situation that Shubert has 420,000 reasons to side with officers over Clark and his family is an affront to the idea of true democracy. Shubert's opinions and subsequent deference were purchased by law enforcement groups long before Clark coughed out his last breath at their hands. And, as long as we allow six figure 'contributions' to key members of the checks and balances system, we'll be guaranteed a result against the interests of the citizenry every single time.