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Lawsuit from Family of Black Man Killed by Police Update

Additional Details Provided in the Updated Lawsuit Filed

This photo released by the Clark Family’s legal representatives, show Derrick Clark Jr., left, with his mother Sarah Miles. (courtesy of the Clark family via AP)


(AP) — Police officers in Oregon shot and killed a 24-year-old Black man in the back and then instead of providing medical care, mocked his lifeless body, threw explosives at him and sent a dog to attack his corpse, his family alleges in an updated lawsuit filed Thursday with additional details from the 2022 shooting.


Derrick Clark Jr. didn’t pull over when an officer turned on his lights because of an alleged “wobble lane change” on June 18, 2022, the lawsuit said. Neither did he pull over when a second officer began pursuing him, or stay inside the car after police rammed it twice.

Instead, he ran away, the lawsuit said: “And yes, with a gun.”


He didn’t point the gun at officers, however, and threw it away as he kept running “like so many other Black men have tried to run away from the police in this country throughout history,” the lawsuit says, noting that 1.4% of Clackamas County’s population is Black.


Officers shot Clark eight times, and even though he lay unmoving just a few feet away, also deployed a heat sensor drone before throwing explosives at him, the suit alleges. The officers laughed, chewed tobacco, made jokes and talked about the “boy” being dead, according to the lawsuit, which also alleges that they commanded a dog to “bite and maul him.”


Clackamas County officials didn’t respond to an email from The Associated Press on Thursday.


The lawsuit was initially filed in December by Clark’s family. According to an amended complaint filed Thursday, the lawsuit was updated “as a courtesy and at the request of Defendants ... who contended that the original complaint was vague and not sufficient in some respects.”


About two hours elapsed from the moment the eighth shot hit Clark to the time the police dog bit him and he was pronounced dead. “During that span of time, over 50 law enforcement officers at the scene either neglected, refused, or otherwise failed to render aid to Mr. Clark,” the lawsuit says. “This is a violation of the policy of Defendant officers’ respective departmental policies. Had appropriate aid been provided, Mr. Clark could have survived.”

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