Family outraged at death of Sacramento man shot 20 times by police

Initially, police reported that Stephon Clark, 22, was armed with a gun, then with a "toolbar," but all that was found on him was a cellphone.
8:06 | 03/23/18

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Transcript for Family outraged at death of Sacramento man shot 20 times by police
A deadly encountdowner captured in detail. Two officers responding to 911 call. Reports of a man vandalizing cars. Overhead police helicopter, infrastructure red video tracking the system. On the ground body cam picks up the frantic pursuit. As they close in. One of the officers shout gun. Seconds later both officers open fire. Show me your hands. -- Shots fired. Leaving a haze of smoke and 22-year-old suspect stephon Clark dead in his grandmother's backyard, an iPhone, not a weapon by his side. He was shot so many times. He was -- no. The headlines came fast and furious. Social media ablaze. Unarmed ING father of two shot dead by cops. Police shot at a man 20 times in his own yard thinking he had a gun. It was an iPhone. This latest incident adding to the already come bustible national dialogue about use of deadly force by the police. They believed this individual had a firearm. But now with the release of the footage the case becomes far more complex. Senior legal correspondentent and I watched the footage together. Definitely looks like he's running. Here we are another shooting of an unarmed young black man. A lot of people will be outraged. What's your take? If this is a high crime area these officers are already fearing for their lives. What I saw was officers that were scared, that were nervous, but were doing what offers officers do every day which is chase suspects and possibly put their lives on the line. How could they mistake a cellphone for a gun. They did give an opportunity to show his hands. Talking about probably a dark object. It's dark outside. What the law provides it doesn't have to be an actual threat, actual gun, it only has to be that the police officer perceives the threat. When he yells, gun, gun, gun that could be their strongest defense in a courtroom. Yes he perceived it was a fun. That's all that matters. Giving him the license to fire. Once again as long as an officer reasonableably believes he or she is in danger deadly force is justifiable but experts say because the officer may have fear forward their lives does not mean this situation was handled correctly. Shots fired. Fear is not a calculation officers should use as an excuse to shoot someone. ABC news consult ant 57bd retired Dallas police chief David brown knows all too well the risk officers face every day. In 2016 lost five of his officers after they were ambushed by a heavily armed man who open fired at a protest in Dallas. When you have multiple shots being fired, 20, 30 shots being fired at a subject it leads one to believe there's an over reaction. Officers got too close. Didn't follow their training and failed to deescalate the situation. Can't get you help unless we know you don't have your weapon. Do you think these officers are going to find them selves in a court of law facing charges. I don't think so. Just looking at this. The legal standard is whether or not the force was justified. I can't imagine that even an external investigation is going to determine that this shooting was unjustified. We need more training because this young man a father of two shouldn't be dead. He had no weapon. Stephon Clark was father of two sons, ages one and three. I have to wake up every morning to my kids asking me where's daddy. Let's go get daddy. We never want to leave his kids always made is sure his kids were good. I understand everybody has a zwro be do, but he N didn't deserve this. He -- he didn't deserve this. He had allegedly been staying at his grand Earth month's home. Grachbd mother grandmother's home with two felony counts of felony abuse and agreed to treatment and had other possessions of firearm and controlled substance. These officers no nothing on the scene. Only matter what's the officers are doing at the time when pursuing a suspect. As to racist implicit off explicit is at play it is not clear officers knew if he was African-American. Is he black, white, Asian. Had a I hoodie on couldn't tell. The fact the young man was running, does he not have potentially some justification in being afraid? Maybe he's afraid of the police. That he was running doesn't necessarily mean he was guilty of anything. No it doesn't and that's what is so difficult about the scene we see over and over again. There are young black men simply afraid of the police because you see this statistics of young, black men being killed disproportionately from others in the population. What would you say to people of color who are afraid of the police? I have a son who is 6'0" tall a boy of color and I tell him, listen, don't run from the police. I've taken my son to our neighborhood police station. I have introduced him to plaufrts. Police officers. So if they see him running down the street because he's an athlete he may be train, I want them to know who he is. Does that sound unreasonable. To some perhaps but that is what I do to make sure that my son is not harmed by the police. Because of this implicit bias that exists. The two officer who's shot Clark have not been identified but both had years of training and both on paid administrative leave. This is a very tragic situation for the family and for our officers as well. Running zblouj Sacramento police say the officers in the helicopter witnessed Clark break a glass door before they told units to move in. Also released a statem@nt saying in part the officers gave the suspect commands to stop and show his hands. The suspect turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him. The officers fired striering the suspect multiple times. Stepping away from the details for a moment where are we as a counted now we have this accumulation of cases like this? We're in a place now where there is this fundamental distrust between the police and the communities they police. When you have the community that's being pleased so afraid of possibly being killed by the neighborhood ploo police officer it's a residecipe for disaster. Tonight while police continue their investigation yet another community in America reacts with shock and anger. We don't get it! Shut it down! As we said a combustible national debate one we will continue to cover on "Nightline."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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