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Protests have planned for the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Sacramento. As we previously reported, Stephon Clark was shot in his backyard by police on Sunday. The cops had been responding to a call about a man breaking into cars in the area. Black Lives Matter, the organization planning the rally, is calling the incident a murder.
Meanwhile, the department released body camera footage from the incident on Thursday that shows responding officers are muting their cameras after shooting the 22-year-old, who was holding only his cellphone at the time of his death. As per the Sacramento Bee, one officer tells the other to “mute” his cameras microphone minutes after the shooting. Vice reports that officers on the scene followed suit while checking in with one another. For the next couple of minutes, officers can be seen talking to bystanders. The department also released helicopter footage, as well as two audio recordings, including a call to 911 and dispatch audio.
Obviously, this raises questions about how and why officers mute their microphones in the first place. “There are a variety of reasons why officers have the opportunity to mute their body-worn cameras,” said Sgt. Vance Chandler. Why officers chose to do so in this instance remains unclear. However, Uproxx suggested that Sgt. Chandler was alluding to general orders’ section on deactivation, which permits police to “deactivate the body-worn camera at any time based on their discretion” in certain situations. The officers involved in the shooting have not been identified and have been placed on administrative leave.