Mesa police authorities have repeatedly misgendered Clarke in their statements to the press and say they were unaware that he had mental issues. They claim two officers were talking to Clarke through an open door in a hallway when the man lunged at them with a knife. Police were called by a friend of Clarke’s who let them into the home.
While the two officers talked to Clarke, a third went back to his car to obtain a “less than lethal” bean-bag shotgun. Before the officer could return, police say Clarke became agressive.
“At that point they felt their lives were threatened,” Detective Estaban Flores said. Both police officers fired their guns.
Clarke’s mother, Stacia Jacobs, also misgendered the newly transitioning Clarke in her remarks to KPHO, but expressed concern and outrage that police would shoot and kill a mentally ill individual.
“My daughter died for asking for help,” she said Friday. “She was in her own place. And regardless of what she was thinking, what she was doing, she wasn’t posing a danger to the community. There has to be better way for law enforcement to respond and handle situations.”