February 28, 2024

Man whose 911 call led to Stephon Clark death speaks

Stephon Clark protestors sacramento thegrio.com
SACRAMENTO, CA – MARCH 22: Black Live Matter protesters hold their fists in the air as they block the entrance to the Golden 1 Center during a demonstration on March 22, 2018 in Sacramento, California (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The man who called 911 on Stephon Clark now says he’s heartbroken.

On March 18, Dave Reiling reportedly spotted a man smashing the windows on his truck, according to the Sacramento Bee. Reiling couldn’t identify the man in the hoodie, but he did chase him with a baseball bat before losing him in a neighbor’s yard.

–So where can we get those Black Panther toys?–

That was when Reiling called 911, at which point the police, in a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, told him to go back inside.

But once he’d gone inside, he heard the shots go off as Sacramento police fired 20 times at Stephon Clark.

Reiling has watched the consequences of his call unfold in the community as Clark’s family mourns their loss and as protests broke out across Sacramento condemning the shooting.

What’s more, Reiling knows Clark’s family, so knowing that his 911 call led to that shooting has him positively heartbroken.

–After deplorable Roseanne Barr fires shots at Black-ish our writer is ready to throw hands

“It makes me never want to call 911 again,” Reiling said. “They shot an innocent person.”


Since Clark’s death, protesters have taken to the streets, sometimes blocking traffic and at one point blocking entrance to the Sacramento Kings’ basketball stadium. The Kings themselves have joined the protests, speaking out about the killing and wearing shirts with Clark’s name on them.

The state of California has also acted to narrow when police can use lethal force in response to the killing, noting that these reforms will hopefully assuage fears that police jump to more lethal options too quickly.

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