Demonstrators gathered Thursday outside the San Bernardino Courthouse to demand the release of Lawrence Bender, a black man shot by Rialto police officers in San Bernardino last year.
The event drew over one hundred people and was organized by Black Lives Matter Inland Empire. Representatives from the group have been in contact with Bender’s family and his attorney, who spoke at the event.
Bender was hospitalized following an officer-involved shooting with Rialto police in June 2019.
An online petition alleges that Bender was taken to an undisclosed hospital and operated on under a false name while being denied outside contact and due process.
KVCR is unable to verify that, but we have sent public records requests seeking more information.
San Bernardino County court records show that Bender is charged with a felony count of resisting an officer.
Besides the release of Bender, Black Lives Matter IE representative Broderick Dunlap describes the group’s goals this way: "We need the police to be defunded, we need them to be disarmed, and we need them to be disbanded. We need the total abolition of the police. When we say that, we mean that.”
Bender is due in court on June 18.