police-tape-1495894333
Getty Images

California Police Kill 26-Year-Old Father In Walmart Parking Lot

“They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious.”

Police in Barstow, Calif. shot and killed a young father of three in a Walmart parking lot, and injured a woman as dozens of bullets were fired into a car that the victim was driving, The Guardian reports. 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.

According to a news release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the April 5 incident unfolded when officers responded to “a call of a suspicious vehicle” in the Walmart parking lot. In the release, the Barstow Police Officers are listed as the  “victim,” while Yarber is listed as a “suspect.”

“Officers believed the driver was a subject wanted for questioning in a recent crime involving a stolen vehicle,” reads the news release. “Officers attempted a traffic stop of the Mustang when the driver suddenly reversed the vehicle and struck one of the patrol cars. 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.

“The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene. A female passenger suffered gunshot wounds and was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center,” the report continues. “The two male passengers exited the vehicle during the incident and one of them sustained minor injuries to his lower extremities in the process. Both injured passengers are expected to recover from their injuries.”

As has been the case with many black victims of police shootings, Yarber’s past criminal record has been brought to surface as if to somehow justify the shooting. However, Brittany Chandler, mother of Yarber’s 19-month-old daughter maintains that police “took him away for no reason,” and that officers should be held accountable for his death.  “They are sick people for them to be able to shoot someone down in broad daylight,” she said.

Yarber’s older sister, Ruby Hawkins, said that local police constantly harassed her brother. “They are the biggest criminals,” she said. “They are bullies with badges … I don’t know how you can fear for your life with a person that is moving away from you.”

“You see this all the time, but you never in a million years think you’ll be the one crying about a loved one killed at the hands of police,” Hawkins added.

Yarber’s aunt, Aleta Yarber, confirmed that the vehicle in question belonged to her son and had not been reported stolen. She also said that her son hasn’t been able to talk much about the shooting because he’s traumatized.

“They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious,” said Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family. “They just began pouring bullets … It’s irresponsible. It’s dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, the use of force.”

A crowdfunding page launched to raise money for Yarber's three young daughter says that he "maneuvered his car around the police vehicles" after being profiled and boxed in by cops "without reasonable suspicion" for stopping him. "Video footage of his car reversing slowly away from law enforcement was captured by a a pedestrian, just before officers began to shoot into the vehicle," the statement reads.

Yarber is the latest black California man gunned down by police whose story has drawn national attention, after the shooting death of Stephon Clark a 22-year-old father of two who was unarmed when he was shot to death in his grandmother’s backyard in March.

Earlier in the month, California legislators introduced a bill that would bar police officers from using deadly force unless absolutely necessary. The measure has been widely rejected by police chiefs in the state.

In the video below, police can be heard unloading several rounds into the vehicle that Yarber was driving.

From the Web

More on Vibe

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

WNBA Player Maya Moore Marries Wrongfully Convicted Man She Helped Get Out Of Prison

When WNBA star Maya Moore first met her now husband, Jonathan Irons, their relationship was strictly platonic. Things changed after she helped to get his wrongful conviction overturned, and the happy couple recently tied the knot.

“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore told Good Morning America on Wednesday (Sept. 16). “We got married a couple months ago and we're excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”

Catch us tomorrow on @GMA with @RobinRoberts! #winwithjustice pic.twitter.com/0z1B1RRS2b

— Maya Moore (@MooreMaya) July 2, 2020

Irons was 16 years old when he was tried as an adult and falsely convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to 50 years for a burglary and shooting. He maintained his innocence throughout, but he would have never been convicted had the case been handled properly. Aside from being wrongfully identified in a lineup, fingerprint evidence that could have proved his innocence was withheld from his lawyers. After serving 23 years for a crime he did not commit, Irons' conviction was overturned in March.

Moore, 31, has known Irons, 40, since she was 18 years old. The two met through a prison ministry program and their relationship slowly transitioned from a friendship to romance. Irons confessed his love for Moore while incarcerated at Missouri's Jefferson City Correctional Center. “I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful. And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard.”

He popped the question in their hotel room following his prison release. “It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, ‘will you marry me,’ she said, ‘yes.’”

Moore, a small forward for the Minnesota Lynx, is taking a break from basketball and has been working alongside her husband to encourage people to vote. The newlyweds also plant to advocate for others who have been wrongfully convicted.

See more on their love story in the video below.

Continue Reading
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Louisville Reaches $12 Million Settlement With Family Of Breonna Taylor

It’s been six months since Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers while sleeping in her own home. The officers involved in her death, Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, have yet to be arrested, but a monetary agreement has been reached to settle a civil lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family.

The city will pay Taylor’s family $12 million in addition to implementing policy reform measures, Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15).

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain,” Fischer said of Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “And I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death. Although these steps, including policy changes, do not change the past, I hope this brings some measure of peace.”

Fischer noted that Taylor’s death “ignited” a local and national movement “for racial justice sending thousands into our streets and in cities all across the country and the world — all crying for justice for Breonna.” Taylor’s death has “triggered a renewed commitment to addressing structural and systematic racism” in Louisville and around the country, said Fischer.

“Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor,” said Taylor’s mother, Tameka Palmer. “No amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna’s legacy. We know that there is much work still to be done and we look forward to continuing to work with community leaders, the mayor’s office, and other elected leaders to implement long-term sustainable change to fight systemic racism that is plaguing our communities.”

The multi-million dollar settlement is the latest step that Louisville has taken in wake of Taylor being killed by police. In June, the Louisville city council passed “Breonna’s Law” banning no-knock warrants, like the one used to violently raid Taylor’s home on March 13. Police claim that the raid stemmed from a drug investigation that reportedly involved Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who did not live at the residence and had already been arrested.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, called the $12 million settlement a step in the right direction. “This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives,” he tweeted.

Today, we got some #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor! Along with a $12 million civil settlement, we secured comprehensive police reform in Louisville. This will bring progress and reform out of this tragedy to protect other Black lives. pic.twitter.com/DyilAkmWag

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 15, 2020

As part of the settlement, Louisville Metro Government agreed to a list of changes including community related policy programs, search warrant reforms, and police accountability reforms.

Continue Reading
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Jacob Blake Handcuffed To Hospital Bed While Paralyzed, Father Says

Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in the back by a Wisconsin police officer, is handcuffed to his hospital bed while recovering from shooting injuries.

“I hate it that he was laying in that bed with the handcuff onto the bed,” his father, Jacob Blake Sr., told the Chicago-Sun Times on Thursday (Aug. 27). “He can’t go anywhere. Why do you have him cuffed to the bed? What was he arrested for?”

The Kenosha Police Department has yet to reveal why they handcuffed Blake to his hospital bed. The 29-year-old father of three was shot at close range by Kanoga police officer, Rusten Sheskey, last week. Blake has been celebrating his son's birthday and was “breaking up a fight between two women” when police confronted him, attorney Benjamin Crump said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice claims that officers were  responding to a call from a woman who reported that her boyfriend “was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”

Officers attempted to arrest Blake during the incident. “Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake,” the Wisconsin DOJ said in an updated statement. “Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.”

Blake’s children were in the car as Sheskey continued to shoot him. Although police didn't have body cameras, a witness captured the shooting on cell phone video.

Protests have continued throughout Kenosha in response to the shooting.

Kenosha County has since declared a state of emerged and announced a mandatory curfew.

⚠️CIVIL UNREST ADVISORY⚠️

Kenosha County has declared a State of Emergency curfew for 7PM tonight, August 26th. Citizens need to be off the streets for their safety. Curfew will be enforced.

— Kenosha Police Dept. (@KenoshaPolice) August 26, 2020

Two people were shot to death, and another injured, at a protest on Tuesday (Aug. 25). The shooter, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, was arrested and charged with felony counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, first degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and first-degree attempted homicide.

Continue Reading

Top Stories