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.