Prosecutors in California have asked the NFL to pull their recent public service announcement involving the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old Black man who was shot by Sacramento police officers in 2018.
The PSA, titled “Justice for Stephon Clark,” was narrated by Se’Quette Clark, his mother. “Stephon is a textbook middle child,” she said in the clip. “He is an overachiever — like when he played football, he’s the one who picks the team spirit back up. Stephon is so charismatic. He’s the life of the party. You wouldn’t know that he’s an honor roll student. He’s such an awesome father, it makes me proud. My family will never be the same without Stephon.”
The California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking for the PSA, which was a collaborative effort with Roc Nation, to be pulled from airing.
“Though well-intentioned, the video performs a disservice instead of a public service by omitting the crucial facts which preceded Mr. Clark’s tragic death,” wrote El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson.
Clark’s brother Stevante issued a response to the CDAA letter on Tuesday (Aug. 4). “These are the facts — the facts are my brother should be alive today. My mother is still grieving,” Stevante Clark said to CBS 13. “I believe what they’re doing is wrong, this is so wrong to disrespect the legacy of Stephon Clark. My brother is not alive to defend himself.”
Clark was shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard in March 2018. Sacramento police officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet were reportedly searching the area for a suspect who was allegedly breaking car windows in the neighborhood. Clark was shot at least seven times and the officers claimed he had a gun. No gun was ever found, only Clark’s phone. No charges were filed against the two officers.
The CDAA has asked the NFL to “reexamine the factual findings of Stephon Clark’s death” and create another video.