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Dr. Bennet Omalu Defends His Autopsy Of Stephon Clark

Beth Ruyak / Capital Public Radio

Dr. Bennet Omalu speaks at a press conference announcing the results of his independent autopsy of Stephon Clark March 30, 2018. The autopsy showed Sacramento police officers shot Clark eight times.

Beth Ruyak / Capital Public Radio

(AP) — Dr. Bennet Omalu, the doctor hired by the family of Stephon Clark, defended his autopsy on Wednesday, a day after the coroner's office reported different findings.

Omalu said in a statement that he stands "firmly in defense" of his examination of 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

The official autopsy released Tuesday by Sacramento police said Clark was shot seven times, not the eight that Omalu said he found.

A pathologist retained by the Sacramento County coroner said Omalu mistook an exit wound for an entry wound, leaving the impression that police first shot Clark from the back.

The county's reviewer says Clark was most likely shot as he approached police, consistent with the officers' story.

Lawyers for Clark's family on Wednesday accused Sacramento County officials of a "shameless attempt to undercut the clear conclusion of his findings — that Stephon Clark was shot in the back, multiple times, while armed with nothing more than a cellphone, posing no real threat to police."

The officers shot Clark on March 18 after chasing him into his grandparents' backyard. They were responding to a report of someone breaking car windows, and said they shot Clark because they thought he was approaching them while pointing a handgun.

Investigators found only a cellphone.

The slaying set off weeks of protests.

Editor’s Note: After discussion, Capital Public Radio decided not to publish an image of Stephon Clark's corpse, which was taken by Dr. Bennet Omalu and provided by the family’s attorneys.

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