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New Stephon Clark Videos Put Focus On Medical Response, Camera Muting

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Police Department has released more video from the March 18 incident where Stephon Clark was shot and killed by officers.

In total, 23 in-car camera videos and 28 body-cam videos were released on Monday. Two 911 call audio files and the rest of the video from the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department's helicopter were also released.

"I shot five times," recounted one officer in the video.

The videos show raw conversations between officers in the moments following the shooting death of Stephon Clark.

"What did he have on him?" questioned one officer, "something in his had that looked like a gun from our perspective," responded another.

Clark was holding a cell phone when he was killed.

Video shows some officers' concern that Clark may still be armed and alive in the minutes following the shooting.

"Bring some nonlethals just in case he's pretending," said one officer about rendering aid to Clark following the shooting.

Officers waiting nearly five minutes before starting life saving measures.

"He's trying to get air," the officer says while waiting for emergency service personnel.

"Our policy says that we need to render aid during these circumstances and there is a lot of things that come into play when officers feel it's safe to render aid," said Sgt. Vance Chandler with the Sacramento Police Department.

Several videos also show officers muting their cameras.

"Fancy seeing you all here," said one officer before his camera is muted while walking up to a group of other officers.

"You muted?" said another officer.

"Yep," an officer responded just before muting his camera.

"That will be part of our investigation," said Chandler, "determining why they muted their body cameras and if it was appropriate at the time given the circumstances."

The issue of muting was discussed at the last city council meeting.

"The department policy on March 18 did not specifically address muting the body cameras," said Daniel Hahn, the Sacramento Police Chief.

Hahn implemented an emergency muting ordinance at that meeting.

Now, officers can only mute their cameras for medical discussions, at the request of a witness, while speaking to a victim of a sensitive crime like sexual assault. If the officer is away from the scene or people, or in extraordinary circumstances or approved by a supervisor.

"They must now audibly record on that camera the reason for the deactivation of muting before muting it," explained Hahn.

The emergency ordinance must still be approved by the Community Police Commission and the city council before becoming official police policy.

As hours of video are made public, the officer's actions in a few critical moments are still being scrutinized.

As part of the city's recently reformed use of force policy, the video releases must happen within 30 days of the incident. This release complies with the policy.

The internal investigation and the district attorney's investigation are ongoing.

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