The killing of 26-year-old Diante Yarber, who is believed to have been unarmed, is being called a brutal case of excessive police force
California police fired what sounded like more than 30 bullets at a packed car in a shopping store parking lot, killing a black father of three and injuring a young woman in the latest US law enforcement shooting to spark backlash.
Police in Barstow, two hours outside of Los Angeles, killed 26-year-old Diante Yarber, who was believed to be unarmed and was driving his cousin and friends to a local Walmart on the morning of 5 April. Police have alleged that Yarber was wanted for questioning in a stolen vehicle case and that he accelerated the car towards officers when they tried to stop him, but his family and their attorney argued that the young father posed no threat and should not have been treated as a suspect in the first place.
The police took him away for no reason, said Brittany Chandler, the mother of Yarbers 19-month-old daughter, Leilani. The police should be held accountable for this They are sick people for them to be able to shoot someone down in broad daylight.
The shooting happened weeks after police in northern California killed Stephon Clark, an unarmed father who was standing in his familys back yard. Though Yarbers killing has not prompted massive rallies, both shootings have shone a harsh light on the way police continue to aggressively use lethal force in black communities, even in a liberal state where the Black Lives Matter movement has long protested against police violence and racism.
The San Bernardino county sheriffs department said officers were responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle and attempting a traffic stop when Yarber, the driver, suddenly reversed the vehicle and hit a patrol car and then allegedly accelerated. Blurry footage from a witness captured the sounds of dozens of rounds fired in rapid succession, with one or more officers firing at the car, not far from bystanders and shoppers in the lot.