As civil rights groups are calling on Congress to combat the crisis of people of color dying in police shootings, more harrowing details have emerged about Stephon Clark‘s death.
Fifty-two videos and one audio file in Clark’s shooting were released Monday, the Sacramento Bee reported. The most horrifying information revealed by the videos shows officers waited nearly six minutes before administering CPR to the 22-year-old unarmed father, who was gunned down while only holding a cell phone in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento on March 18. Cops held off from approaching Clark’s body about five minutes, and once they approached him, they handcuffed and searched him for nearly a minute before beginning rescue assistance. When fire department responders were finally cleared to help Clark about a minute after CPR began, he had likely already passed away.
The footage raises so many questions, including why it took several minutes to provide medical aid to Clark. Could quicker moves have helped save his life?
“The five minutes’ lapse in time, I’m not sure if it would have saved the life of Stephon Clark, but it would have increased the chances,” Rashid Sidqe, a police reform activist with the Law Enforcement Accountability Directive, said.
The videos will likely spark more protests as people of color across the country express that Clark didn’t have to lose his life. Folks already feel frustrated with the persistent problem of minimal police accountability, a matter also brought up in the fatal shootings of Danny Ray Thomas and Saheed Vassell. Activists are going above and beyond in doing their part to save lives—but when will Congress do more?
Several civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, have urged Congress to look at policing strategies and reform legislation, according to Civilrights.org. Requiring national data collection on police use of force and de-escalation training is also crucial, the groups have said. They have made it clear that truth and their fight won’t be stopped during the Trump era, but it will grow louder and stronger.