A California police department is facing criticism after surveillance video showed San Bernardino police shooting a Black security guard. Robert Adams, 23, later died as a result of the incident. Police described him as an “armed felon and an unlicensed security guard,” to CBS Los Angeles. But the man’s family told the news station they have their doubts about officials’ version of what happened on Saturday. “I could understand if he was a threat to them,” said Tamika Deavila King, the slain man’s mother. “But he was not a threat to them. He was running for his life.”
Warning: Video in this story contains surveillance footage of police shooting Adams, which may be triggering for viewers.
Adams’ family said police officers on the scene failed to identify themselves as officers and they got out of an unmarked vehicle. “They just hopped out with the gun and they didn’t say anything,” Adams’ best friend told CBS Los Angeles.
Adams’ stepfather Audwin King told CBS Los Angeles he wants the officer who killed his stepson identified, fired, and prosecuted. “We want justice. We want his badge. We want his job,” Audwin King said of the officer. “We want murder charges.”
According to a Facebook post from San Bernardino police, two uniformed officers with the department’s specialized investigations unit were conducting surveillance in an unmarked vehicle after receiving information that a “black male armed with a gun was in the parking lot of an illegal online gambling business.”
When officers arrived, they spotted two men, one of them later identified as Adams, who police said “pulled a gun from his waistband, and began walking towards the officers’ vehicle.”
“The officers exited their vehicle and attempted to give Adams verbal commands, but Adams ran away, toward two cars, still carrying the gun,” police said. “One of the officers fired his service weapon, striking Adams.
“It’s reported Robert didn’t know there were police in the unmarked car before he ran for his life,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted on Monday. “We need a full investigation into this horrific execution!”
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