They claimed the car was speeding toward a police officer. However, the video captured by a pedestrian refutes the police’s claim. pic.twitter.com/rZqZHQXEcY
— Crackdown Chronicles (@CrackdownReport) April 16, 2018
Police in California are being harshly criticized after a barrage of bullets left another unarmed black man dead.
Officers in Barstow unloaded more than 30 bullets into the body of 26-year-old Diante Yarber, a father of three, earlier this month.
Brittany Chandler is the mother of Yarber’s 19-month-old daughter Leilani. In comments to The Guardian, she said:
The police took him away for no reason. The police should be held accountable for this…They are sick people for them to be able to shoot someone down in broad daylight.
On the morning of his death, Diante Yarber was driving his cousin and two friends to a local Walmart. It is presently unclear what turn of events led to the shooting and Yarber’s eventual death.
Police claim Yarber was “wanted for questioning” about a stolen vehicle. They also said Yarber “accelerated” his car when officers tried to stop him. So far, however, police not released evidence linking Yarber to the alleged theft case and the alleged danger of Yarber’s vehicle has been called into question.
According to a press release issued by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, officers were responding to a “call of a suspicious vehicle” and then attempted a “traffic stop” before the driver “suddenly reversed the vehicle,” striking a patrol car.
According to Aleta Yarber, her nephew was driving his cousin’s black Mustang at the time of the shooting. She said the car didn’t appear to have any damage suggesting it had rammed into any other vehicles.
The only publicly available video footage brings into question the police version of events. In the footage, captured by a pedestrian at the scene, the car being driven by Yarber slowly moves through the parking lot–on a fairly different trajectory than law enforcement. Finally, a police car settles directly into the path of Yarber’s vehicle–but apparently only after the shooting starts.
Law&Crime reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Barstow Police Department for comment on this story and to clarify contested points of detail but no responses were forthcoming at the time of publication.
Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Yarber family was unforgiving in his account. He said:
They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious. They just began pouring bullets…It’s irresponsible. It’s dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, the use of force.
[image via screengrab]