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The Latest: California official: Police thought man had gun

March 5, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the California attorney general’s decision on whether to charge officers who killed an unarmed black man last year (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

California’s attorney general says a nearly yearlong investigation shows that Sacramento police believed they were in danger when they fatally shot an unarmed black man who refused commands and moved toward officers with something in his hand.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a news conference Tuesday that he won’t charge two officers in the killing of 22-year-old Stephon Clark last year.

Becerra has emphasized the need for changes and called Clark’s death a “devastating loss.” He met with Clark’s mother before announcing his decision.

He says Clark had broken car windows and a neighbor’s sliding glass door and refused police orders to stop and show his hands.

After the officers’ chased him into his grandparents’ backyard, Becerra says Clark moved closer to police with what officers believed to be a gun. That’s when they opened fire.

Investigators found only a cellphone.

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12:05 p.m.

California’s attorney general won’t charge two Sacramento police officers who shot and killed an unarmed black man last year.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s announcement Tuesday follows a prosecutor’s finding that the two officers broke no laws when they shot 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

Officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet say they mistakenly thought Clark was approaching them with a gun after he ran into his grandparents’ backyard as police investigated vandalism.

Investigators found only a cellphone.

Clark’s killing prompted intense protests last year in California’s capital city and demonstrations nationwide.

Clark’s family and black leaders urged Becerra to reach a different conclusion than the local prosecutor.

That decision this weekend renewed protests and has increased support for changing the state’s legal standard for when police can kill.

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9:50 a.m.

California’s attorney general is preparing to announce whether his office will file criminal charges against two Northern California police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark last year.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra will announce his decision Tuesday.

It follows Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s announcement Saturday that the officers broke no laws when they shot the 22-year-old Clark.

Officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet say they thought Clark was approaching them with a gun.

They were pursuing him in response to calls about someone breaking windows.

Investigators found only a cellphone. Clark was shot in his grandparent’s backyard.

Clark’s family and black community leaders have urged Becerra to reach a different conclusion.

More than 80 people were arrested Monday night during a protest following Schubert’s decision.