Dave Reiling – ‘Cops shot an innocent man’
A heartbroken Sacramento man says he’ll think twice before calling 911 again, knowing his action put the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark into motion.
The caller, Dave Reiling, said he found a man bashing in his truck windows on March 18, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday.
Reiling, who knows Clark’s family, said he was watching television in his trailer on March 18, when he heard the sound of breaking glass in his Meadowview neighborhood. Startled, he went outside and discovered two of his trucks’ windows were broken and saw a man in a hooded sweatshirt.
He chased the vandal down the street with a baseball bat and called cops after losing him in a neighbor’s yard.
Reiling dialed 911 to report the incident. But three weeks later, knowing his call preceded the fatal police shooting of young father-of-two whose, Stephon Clark, Reiling expressed regret.
Sacramento police officers shot Stephon Clark 20 times with his back turned. Clark who was speaking on his cell phone in his grandmother’s Sacramento backyard on Mar 18, died after taking 8 hits to the side back and thigh
Clark, 22, was gunned down by police last month in the backyard of his grandmother’s Meadowview home, in Sacramento California and quickly became a symbol of injustice and touched off a movement for change – Once again, an unarmed black man had been killed by officers under questionable circumstances. His death sparked massive protests which captured worldwide attention. The outraged activists picketed law enforcement offices, shut down freeways. Even local NBA team, the Sacramento Kings, delayed their game as a mark of respect.
The vandal Reiling was chasing with his baseball bat eventually went into a neighbor’s backyard, that’s when Reiling said he called police. On the call, Reiling keeps telling the dispatcher that “the dogs are going crazy” in the backyard where he thought the man had gone.
He was standing on the street with the dispatcher on the phone until a helicopter and two patrol cars arrived. The helicopter instructed him to go indoors, so he did, he said. Minutes later, Reiling said he heard gunshots. He assumed police and the suspect were involved in a shootout, he said.
“They shot somebody back there, Stephon, for a cellphone,” Reiling said Monday, adding that he watched the video released by the department after the shooting.
Body camera footage of the incident released by police showed the two officers running into a backyard, yelling at Clark to show his hands and stop.
The victim Stephon Clark seen in photos with his girlfriend Galena Manni and their sons Aiden, 3, and 1-year-old Cairo Clark
Reiling’s 911 call ended with police officers firing 20 rounds at Clark while he stood in his grandparents’ backyard, hitting him first in the side, six times in the back and another time in his thigh, according to a private autopsy released by the legal team representing Clark’s family.
“It makes me never want to call 911 again,” said Reiling, who lives in a trailer parked in a yard across the street from where Clark was shot dead by two Sacramento Police Department officers March 18. “They shot an innocent person.”
Reilings said he heard the 20 rounds fired by two unidentified Sacramento Police Department officers that sparked days of protests in the California capitol.
Clark was shot repeatedly from behind in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a cell phone, not a gun as initially believed by law enforcement.