According to a surveillance camera video, San Bernardino cops shot a 23-year-old guy seconds after getting out of their unmarked vehicle. According to the man’s parents, the officers were cruel and tracked their son down “like a hound.”
On Monday, July 18, the public was shown additional footage of what happened minutes before Robert Marquise Adams, a young Black guy working as a security guard for an underground gambling establishment, was shot by officers of the San Bernardino Police Department over the weekend.
Concerned citizens took to social media to question the procedure that resulted in Adams’s death on Saturday, July 16.
According to a police press statement, two officers from a specialist unit were dispatched to investigate a complaint about the gaming establishment on the 400 block of West Highland Street. They arrived in uniform that evening at about 8:05 p.m. in an unmarked automobile.
The officers slowed down as they drove past the alleged facility, which was located in a parking lot, before coming to a stop a few yards away from the action. The cops saw Adams grab “a gun from his waistband” before walking toward them, according to the agency.
Adams was seen on surveillance camera leaving a local establishment after having a talk with someone before walking toward the vehicle. It also shows officers rushing out of the car with their guns drawn as he approaches them, leading him to flee in the opposite direction, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Adams was fatally shot in the back 15 seconds after the cops exited the car and as he raced between two parked cars to escape. He died from his injuries later that night in a local hospital.
The SBPD claims that “officers quickly administered medical help” and that Adams’ firearm, a loaded Taurus G3C 9mm with a round in the chamber, was found at the site.
According to police, was an armed felon and an unauthorized security guard for the facility, although officials were unaware of his position prior to his death.
In addition to sharing the officers’ side of what happened, including that there was an additional person taken into custody that night, the SBPD said it was “in the process of investigating this incident and is still gathering facts and evidence.
“We are aware of a surveillance video clip circulating online that fails to provide any details or context as to what occurred during the event,” according to the statement. “Before disclosing details, we must collect and examine all available information and evidence (including video).”
“Those details and further footage will be provided,” the force stated.
In the meantime, Chief Darren Goodman is requesting that the community “reserve judgment on the matter” until all “facts and data” are known.
Adams’ parents are enraged and want answers from the officers about their decisions.
“I could understand if he was a threat to them,” Adams’ mother, Tamika Deavila King, told a local station as she tried to make sense of the incident. “However, he posed no danger to them. He was on the run for his life.”
She claimed she was on the phone with her son moments before he was slain, but the conversation abruptly dropped.
“It let me know that’s why the phone hung up because they were killing my son,” she said.
“The boy ran,” Audwin King, Adams’ stepfather, said. [The officer] pursued him like a dog. If [Adams] was still alive, the officer would have probably finished the clip. So, when will we get justice for that?”
According to the victim’s companion, who wishes to remain nameless, “they just hopped out with the pistol and didn’t say anything.”
While family and friends claim that the police did not identify themselves in the 15 seconds after exiting and before firing, the SBPD said in a news release that they were “totally uniformed and tried to give Adams verbal commands before he began to flee.”
Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer, has agreed to defend the family. When he released the footage on Twitter, he dubbed Adams’ death a “horrific execution”:
“Police in San Bernardino, California, executed 23-year-old Robert Adams! According to reports, Robert had no idea there were cops in the unmarked car as he fled for his life. We need a thorough inquiry into this heinous execution!”
He also told the Daily Beast, “It is outrageous that another Black family had to mourn their child as a result of cops shooting first and asking questions later.”
Shaun King, another outspoken critic of police violence, shared the footage of the incident on Instagram, saying, “This was a horrible execution,” and that “one officer looks to have shot him at least 9 times in the back.”
The official number of shots fired at Adams has not been revealed.
In an exclusive interview with KTLA, Adams’ stepfather stated that Adams had a weapon and was “protecting himself” due to rampant robberies in the region. Police appear to confirm this by publishing a photograph of Adams clutching a handgun.
Nonetheless, the family wishes to press murder charges against the police who shot their cousin.
“We seek justice.” We’d like to have his badge. “We want his job,” King insisted. “We’re looking for murder charges.”
Although the SBPD stated that it was investigating the event, it is common for an outside law enforcement body to be called in to take over investigations like this. It is unclear whether this has been decided.