Family of Rob Adams demands justice after fatal police shooting
Community members in San Bernardino are demanding justice after a 23-year-old Black man was shot and killed Saturday by police, while he was running away.
Tamika Deavila King was talking to her son Rob Adams on the phone when he suddenly dropped off. "And all I heard after that was gunshots, and he never told me goodbye." Deavila King said.
Adams was fatally shot by police in a San Bernardino parking lot. According to security camera footage, two officers showed up in an unmarked car. Seconds after exiting their vehicle, shots were fired as Adams ran in the opposite direction.
The San Bernardino Police Department (SBPD) says Adams was carrying a gun and was displaying the weapon when officers drove up. In a press release, they provided a photo of the gun they say they found on Adams. But Adams' family members dispute that he was carrying a firearm, but rather that he was holding his cell phone.
"Rob Adams was running away. He posed no threat. When that officer shot him multiple times in the back," said civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Crump is representing the family along with a team of local attorneys, who plan to file a lawsuit this week.
The police department has released a video response with clips from body camera footage. In the video, Police Chief Darren Goodman says officers gave verbal commands, but the video doesn't include audio from that confrontation. "Fearing that bystanders or the officer's lives were in danger, one of the officers fired his gun striking Adams," said San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman.
Adams' father, Robert, says his son's life was taken too soon. And that he had plans to go to college and pursue a business management degree. "He was a good kid. To see my son gets shot multiple times in the back," Adams said. "What father will want to see the kid killed on a video."
Police have not released the names of the officers involved and did not say whether they had been placed on leave. From 2016 to 2020, the San Bernardino police department reported to the California Department of Justice that officers shot and killed 13 men.