March 3, 2019 5:32 pm
Updated: March 3, 2019 5:38 pm

Police won’t face charges in shooting death of unarmed black man in California

WATCH: Stephon Clark's mother says she refuses to accept prosecutors' decision not to file criminal charges


SACRAMENTO, Calif.  — Angry relatives of a black man fatally shot by police as he held a cellphone have promised to continue their “fight for justice” after prosecutors in California declined to bring charges against the officers.

READ MORE: Unarmed man Stephon Clark shot 8 times by police from behind or the side, autopsy finds

“This is just the beginning. The fight for justice has just begun,” Stephon Clark‘s mother, SeQuette Clark, said immediately after prosecutors announced their decision on Saturday.

WATCH: No charges will be filed against 2 officers responsible for shooting death of Stephon Clark

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The family planned a news conference at a Sacramento church Sunday with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s group National Action Network to discuss what steps they might take.

They have already filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit.

READ MORE: Sacramento protesters block streets after funeral for police shooting victim Stephon Clark

There have been numerous protests since Clark, 22, was killed March 18, 2018, in his grandparents’ yard. After Saturday’s announcement a Black Lives Matter demonstration drew about 100 people to Sacramento police headquarters where they protested peacefully in chilly rain.

Officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet, who were chasing a vandalism suspect, said they believed Clark was holding a gun when they confronted him.

WATCH: Protesters gather outside Sacramento PD after DA’s decision to not file criminal charges

In announcing that the officers would not be charged, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said evidence, including body-camera video, showed they indeed believed he had a gun.

She also said physical evidence revealed Clark was the man who broke three vehicle windows and an elderly man’s sliding glass patio door shortly before the officers confronted him.

WATCH: Sacramento mayor ‘horrified’ by video of cops gunning down unarmed black man

Family members accused her of unfairly blaming Clark for his death by revealing that and the personal troubles he’d been going through in the days before he was killed.

WATCH: Stephon Clark’s fiancee pleads that people don’t stop advocating for new state legislation

The mother of Clark’s children had recently brought a domestic violence complaint against him that Schubert said could have sent him to jail. She also revealed that Clark had been researching suicide websites, including those that suggested using a tranquilizer that was found in his body.

“Whatever his character is or his actions prior to those officers gunning him down, is no one’s business,” Clark’s mother said. “It’s not justification. That’s not a permit to kill him.”

WATCH: Mayor apologizes to Stephon Clark’s family after prosecutor’s decision not to file criminal charges

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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