LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California police shot and killed a black man Saturday as he fled while allegedly holding a gun, video showed.
The family of 23-year-old Rob Adams, however, say he was probably holding his mobile phone instead of a gun because he had spoken to his mother when police arrived. His family expects to file a lawsuit, a precursor to a trial, on Thursday.
“All I heard after that was gunshots. He never said goodbye to me,” his mother, Tamika Deavila King, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
San Bernardino police say officers were called to a parking lot around 8 p.m. Saturday after learning a black man was walking around with a gun.
According to San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman, two officers, who were wearing uniforms but driving an unmarked car, saw Adams pull a gun from his belt and begin walking towards the cruiser with the gun pointed. hand.
The police department released a video of almost six minutes to social media on Tuesday which includes Goodman’s narration, surveillance video footage and body camera footage.
Although there is no audio of the initial encounter, Goodman said officers gave Adams verbal orders.
The video shows Adams almost immediately turns around and runs towards two cars parked against a high wall.
“Seeing he had no grip, they thought he intended to use the vehicle as cover to shoot at them,” Goodman says in the video.
Within seconds, one of the officers opened fire, hitting Adams. He was pronounced dead in hospital. Police recovered a 9mm pistol after the shooting.
The name of the officer who fired his weapon has not been made public.
Ben Reynoso, a San Bernardino councilman, blamed police for the shooting.
“Given that Adams never pointed the gun, was approached by an unmarked vehicle, and was shot while fleeing, plausible criminality therefore does not exist,” Reynoso wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Ultimately, Robert Adams died at the hands of the San Bernardino Police Department.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said at the press conference Wednesday that Adams’ death was “a classic example of ‘shoot first and ask questions later.'”
Crump and other attorneys representing Adams’ family say police – who say he had “a long criminal history” – framed him as a bad guy.
“My son, Rob, was not a gang member. He was a good boy,” his father, Robert Adams, said on Wednesday. “What parent would want to see their child killed on video? »
The killing is the latest in several shootings by law enforcement of black men across the country that have sparked protests or calls for a federal investigation.
On June 27, police in Akron, Ohio shot 25-year-old Jayland Walker more than 40 times at the end of a car and foot chase that began with an attempt to arrest him. traffic for minor equipment violation.
Meanwhile, a report released by the state auditor in April found that five law enforcement agencies, including the San Bernardino Police Department, failed to take adequate steps to guard against racist and ethnic behavior. The report also found that a few officers had engaged in such conduct “either during their on-duty interactions with individuals or online through their social media posts.”