US police fire 30 bullets at unarmed man in Walmart parking lot

Kirsten West Savali  YouTube

Kirsten West Savali YouTube

Diante "Butchie" Yarber, 26, was unarmed when he was killed, and while authorities claim that he was "wanted for questioning over an allegedly stolen vehicle and "accelerated" towards officers, his family says he was the victim of unjustified deadly force". Police have called the incident an "assault" on an officer, though Yarber was unarmed and officers were not in the path of the vehicle, according to the investigation. "The police should be held accountable for this ..."

Relatives of Yarber told HuffPost that the vehicle he was in wasn't stolen.

"The vehicle then accelerated forward toward the officers, and then accelerated in reverse toward officers and striking another patrol vehicle", Barstow police said. In a statement, the department said those videos are part of the investigation.

Yarber, who Merritt said had been struck repeatedly, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

"Law enforcement said [Yarber] was in the process of ramming a police vehicle, but the video we have shows the auto was rolling away from police very, very slowly", Merritt said. No additional information is available for release.

"We are making progress with the investigation and should hopefully have more details available soon", Espinoza said. He was wanted for questioning in a stolen vehicle case.

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Yarber's older sister, Ruby Hawkins, said that local police constantly harassed her brother. The description of that vehicle wasn't provided.

"While waiting for one of his passengers to return from shopping at Walmart, Diante and his passengers were labeled "suspicious" and targeted for harassment by (police)", Merritt wrote. "Officers pursued him on foot but did not locate him, and a probable cause declaration was put out for his arrest".

Additionally, a 23-year-old unidentified woman in the auto was injured by the gunfire. "He was doing less than 5 miles per hour and that's consistent with the damage on the vehicle we saw". Part of the video shows the Mustang moving slowly backward as officer fired. Several bullet holes can be seen on the driver's side, with a small paint scrape visible on its front bumper.

However, Mr Merritt indicated the vehicle, a black Ford Mustang, belonged to Mr Yarber's cousin.

"It's the most freaky thing I've ever seen", Merritt said. "The idea that [police] would release the vehicle is mind-boggling". A department spokeswoman referred questions about it to the Barstow police. Merritt said she had been struck in the abdomen and the leg.

The shooting on April 5 has ignited protests in Barstow, about halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, among residents seeking answers from the police, according to The Daily Press of Victorville. "That illusion of neutrality just disappears". Merritt confirmed that the video is of the shooting involving Yarber. His family and legal representation believe the fatal shooting to be another example of excessive police force against an unarmed Black man. "He was so loving and friendly, and that's what we're going to miss the most".

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