Police Gun Down Unarmed Black Father Outside California Walmart

Just a few weeks after Stephon Clark was gunned down in Sacramento, California, yet another unarmed black man was brutally killed with a barrage of bullets — this time in Barstow, California, about two hours east of Los Angeles.

Diante Yarber was driving his cousin’s Ford Mustang in a Walmart parking lot on April 5 when police fired what some witnesses said were as many as 30 bullets. The shots killed Yarber and seriously injured a young woman who was in the backseat of the car. 

Police have said that Yarber, a 26-year-old father of three, was “wanted for questioning” about a stolen vehicle and that he was shot dead because he reversed his car, hit a police car and then accelerated toward them, hitting a second police car

Yarber’s family and his attorney disagree with this version of events and point to this blurry cellphone video that captures the sound of the fusillade of gunshots and also seems to show the Mustang moving slowly backward as the officers fire. 

“They don’t have a justification for stopping this car. They saw a car full of black people in front of a Walmart and that was suspicious,” said S. Lee Merritt, the attorney for Yarber’s family. “I don’t believe I have seen a more brutal shooting. They just began pouring bullets into the car in broad daylight. The car was barely rolling backward. You can walk faster than that.”

This is yet another example of excessive police force used on a unarmed black man who should not even have been treated as a suspect. San Bernardino Sheriff’s officials have said that Barstow police officers were responding to a report of a “suspicious vehicle.”

But Yarber was driving his cousin’s car, so it’s not even clear that Yarber was the wanted person. And as Yarber’s aunt, Aleta Yarber, confirmed, this car had never been reported stolen.

And why were the police firing at a moving vehicle? Surely if they injure the driver of a car with passengers, the car will go out of control, endangering the lives of everyone in the car.

Not only did the police kill an unarmed black man, but they also inflicted injuries on a 23-year-old female passenger who was airlifted to a trauma center after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

It is only April, but 333 people have already been murdered by police officers in the U.S. so far this year. Last year 987 people were fatally shot by the police. As of a week ago, there had been 31 more people shot to death by police than at the same time last year.

And yet we know that most of the time the police go scot-free after they have killed unarmed black men like Diante Yarber.

Remember Philando Castile, gunned down by police officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, after he had pulled Castile over for a broken tailight? Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter in 2017.

Or Terence Crutcher, who was shot to death by Betty Shelby, a white police officer in Tulsa on September 16, 2016. She too was acquitted of the manslaughter charge in 2017.

Or the most recent travesty: Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience story in Baton Rouge when he was wrestled to the ground and fatally shot by two police officers on July 5, 2016. Last month came the announcement that no charges will filed against either officer.

The case of Diante Yarber remains under investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, but Barstow city officials have refused to answer any questions about his death.

Take Action!

Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave following Yarber’s fatal shooting. But this is not enough. If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition demanding that these Barstow police officers be fired immediately.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: pixabay

57 comments

Jaime J
Jaime J22 days ago

Thank you!!

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini24 days ago

Brian F
Of course from where I am I'm not in a position to follow the chain of responsibility from law-makers to law-enforcers. But are you sure there are no laws in place calling for police to be prosecuted if they overstep the line, laws that just don't get enacted because the police force's priority is to protect their own rather than protecting the people? This self-interested behaviour could be a reflection of the selfishness of billionaires and corporations but it sounds as if you are saying that law-makers specifically pass laws instructing that police brutality should go unpunished. Is this the case?

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William C
William C25 days ago

Thank you.

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Brian F
Brian F25 days ago

Annabel Bedini I think you're really trying to avoid admitting you're wrong here. I'm talking about how our corrupt police are an extension of the corporations and billionaires the own our country. The police are getting away with brutalizing, beating, gunning down and murdering people because our courts, judges, and justice system is corrupt, and bought and paid for by the wealthy, and allow them to do it. Again, you need to connect the dots. Its not hard. Billionaires and corporations that own our country, pay our corrupt politicians to write laws that protect the police from being prosecuted for crimes like murdering people. The police behave on the streets in a negative way by beating and killing people, because they know they will not be prosecuted by our corrupt justice system, and have to pay for their crimes. Billionaires and corporations pay our corrupt politicians to write laws, that protect the police, and criminalize the poor. So their is no separation here. Armed cops acting like thugs, beating and killing people, are a direct result of the cops knowing that they will get away with their crimes, because the corrupt laws that protect them are in place, thanks to the billionaires and corporations that have paid off our corrupt politicians to enact them.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini25 days ago

Brian F
I think we are talking about two different things here. You are talking about a justice system unfairly favouring the rich and powerful, I'm talking about how police behave on the streets. I don't dispute your anaylsis of an unfair justice system, I believe you! But armed cops gunning down innocent folk just because they might look somehow suspicious is a whole different question surely.

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W. C
W. C25 days ago

Thank you for caring.

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Karen H
Karen H25 days ago

No, Luna S, Leanne K is neither a troll nor a moron. She has contributed intelligent comments on many topics. You're free to disagree with her, but you'll have to prove she's a troll.

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Brian F
Brian F26 days ago

Annabel Bedini That's your problem. You just don't understand our country. As I've said 10 million times, corporations and billionaires, own both corrupt parties and our media. Our venal politicians make the laws to only benefit the wealthy, and powerful, and harm the poor. The Police enforce many of these unjust laws, like criminalizing marijuana, and other laws that unfairly target the poor. Most poor people arrested for minor crimes are forced to take a plea bargain, and serve time in prison, even if they are not guilty, because they fear they will get even more time if found guilty of a crime they may not have committed. Rich people usually get good lawyers, and rarely go to jail. Look at the Democrats who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and caused this crook Trump to win. They never were charged with a crime, or went to jail. If you are wealthy and powerful, you can get away with any crime in America. Since corporations own our country, and pay our corrupt politicians to make the laws, that only benefit the wealthy, and that our corrupt police enforce, I can't understand how you can say that you don't see how corporations and billionaires influence our police. I fail to see how you cannot connect the dots, and see the obvious connection.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini26 days ago

Margaret F
I take your point but it still seems to be the case that the police in the U.S. are frighteningly trigger-happy. This may be partly because of society's basic gun culture, partly because they are granted impunity for their actions and partly because, as Leanne K says, they don't seem to be given proper training in how to defuse potentially dangerous situations without spraying bullets around indiscriminately. I wouldn't for a moment discount the skill and heroism of many cops but they should be an example to be taught to all, of how policing should be done, not just occasional rays of light in a gloomy lanscape.

Brian F
I'm not sure I understand how corporations and billionaires influence a trigger-happy police force. Doesn't seem much connection to my mind.

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Luna S
Past Member 27 days ago

leanne k is flagged as a troll again people flag her she is an unjust moron

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