Stevante Clark, the older brother of Stephon Clark who was shot by Sacramento police in a hail of bullets in his grandmother’s backyard, is out on bail after being charged with misdemeanor assault and vandalism. Clark attributes his charges to mental trauma.
According to the Associated Press, on Thursday (Apr. 19), the 25-year-old was arrested on suspicions of assault with a deadly weapon, death threats, criminal threats, and abuse of a 911 line. The accusations against Clark came from his landlord who claimed he caused more than $400 worth of damage to the home. Vandalism that led to local police pushing for felony charges before the crimes were reduced to misdemeanors by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
Clark’s legal woes came after thrusting himself into the public eye demanding justice for his brother’s killing. Following Clark’s murder, Stevante and protestors disrupted a city council meeting to condemn local lawmakers for the community conditions and their response to this brother’s death. In addition, Clark has also been open about the mental trauma his brother’s murder has caused him. Explaining to the New York Daily News that has sought treatment.
Clark’s mental health claim is a serious plight for many Americans. Per Mental Health America, the 2014 census resulted that only about 13 percent of the US population identifies as “Black/African-America.” However, Black Americans are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than their white counterparts. A staggering statistic that increases trifold for those who live below the poverty line. Also, Blacks reported being plagued with more feelings of “worthlessness” / “hopelessness” than white Americans. And although they are less likely to die from suicide, Black teens will attempt the act more than white adolescents at nearly eight percent vs. close to just six percent respectively.
Showing empathy, Ruanne Dozier, a district attorney’s office spokesperson stated instead of severing the possible year in prison the office asked Clark to complete a mental health diversionary program that would lead to his charges being dropped. Yet, it is unknown whether Clark will take this compromise. After posting bail on Monday (April 23), the same day the charges were officially filed, it was reported Clark began looking for legal representation.