Police: Trust us, the black man we gunned down outside a Walmart deserved it
by Alan Pyke, Think Progress
Apr 19, 2018
Barstow Police Department officers shot and killed 26-year-old Diante Yarber on April 5 in his cousin’s black Ford Mustang. Yarber and three others were parked outside a Walmart in the southeastern California city when, police say, he and his vehicle were deemed suspicious.
Police say that Yarber tried to pull his car out of its parking space when officers approached, colliding with a patrol car then shifting gears and striking a second car. It was only then, the police narrative states, that officers opened fire. But the city has yet to release any video footage to support those claims or verify that officers were in harm’s way.
It is unclear if the original police attention was prompted by a 911 caller or simply by officers’ observations, but the department says officers thought Yarber looked like a suspect in a recent car theft.
“I would love to hear that call,” said Lee Merritt, an attorney for Yarber’s relatives. “They weren’t doing drugs, there was no reports of loud music, it’s a car sitting in front of a Walmart as cars often do. But with black people in it.”
“Looked like a suspect in a recent car theft.”
He was Black.