Police in Barstow, Ca. shot and killed an unarmed Black father of three in a Walmart parking lot earlier this month, The Guardian reports.
Barstow police say that 26-year old Diante Yarber was “wanted for questioning” and that he “accelerated” the car toward them when they fired shots at him on the morning of April 5. A passenger was shot in the stomach and airlifted to the hospital.
His family and their attorney disputes that narrative and said that he shouldn’t have been treated as a suspect and that he was unarmed.
“The police took him away for no reason,” Brittany Chandler, the mother of Yarber’s 19-month-old daughter, Leilani told the Guardian. “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 family’s attorney said described the incident as a war zone and said that officers fired 30 bullets at Yarber, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious,” said Lee Merritt, the family’s lawyer. “They just began pouring bullets … It’s irresponsible. It’s dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, the use of force.”
Activist Shaun King posted on FB, reported footage from the scene taken from the same parking lot where Yarber was killed.
In a press release, San Bernardino County Police said that Yarber reversed the black mustang he was driving after attempting a traffic stop.
“When the driver again accelerated toward the officers and struck a second patrol car, the officer involved shooting occurred. Two of the four occupants were struck by gunfire.”
Yarber’s death is the latest police shooting death in California. In March, 22-year old Stephon Clark was killed by Sacramento police officers after being shot at 20 times.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.