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Independent pathologist hired by Clark family stands by own autopsy

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who performed the independent autopsy of Stephon Clark for Clark's family, stands by his report.

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Update: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

A doctor hired by the family of an unarmed black man shot by California police defended his autopsy on Wednesday, a day after the coroner's office reported different findings.

Dr. Bennet 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.

You can read the full statement below.

Original story

The Sacramento Police Department released their autopsy report for Stephon Clark Tuesday afternoon, stating the independent autopsy performed earlier this year provided inaccuracies.

Stephon Clark, 22, had a cell phone on him when Sacramento police officers fired at him 20 times, killing him in his grandmother's backyard. Officers say they thought the phone was a gun.

The autopsy report contains two documents. The first document is the Sacramento County Coroner’s Autopsy report. The second document is a case review of the autopsy.

On March 30, 2018, Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist tasked with the independent autopsy by the Clark family, said that seven bullets had a "fatal capacity." The Sacramento Police Department's autopsy claims information from the private autopsy as "erroneous."

"It is clear from review of the written report and photographic documentation that Stephon Clark was struck by seven bullets, not by eight as claimed by Dr. Omalu in his press conference statements and as shown in his autopsy doagram," Gregory D. Reiber, M.D., states in his report.

The toxicology report reveals that Clark had traces of cocaine, codeine, Xanax and cannabis in his system.

Despite the autopsy report being released, the investigation into the shooting continues.

"The investigation is not complete and it has not been submitted to our office to make a determination on this case," a statement from the Sacramento District Attorney's Office read. "The Coroner's report, or autopsy as it's frequently called, is a portion of that investigation - it does not complete the investigation. When we receive the full investigation, we will then conduct our own independent review and make a determination."

Stay with ABC10 for more information as this story develops. Read the reports below.

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