San Bernardino Black man fatally shot in back from police as he ran away

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Posted at 8:14 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 21:14:19-04

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Police shot and killed a Black man running away Saturday in California.

Around 8:05 p.m. in San Bernardino, Robert Adams, who was carrying a firearm, and an unidentified individual were in a parking lot of an illegal online gambling business near the 400 block of West Highland Street. Police, while 'fully uniformed', arrived at the scene in an unmarked vehicle after receiving reports of a Black male armed with a gun present; and later shot whom they believed was the suspect while he fled in the opposite direction.

According to the police, Adams pulled a gun from his waistband and walked towards the unmarked vehicle, at which the officers exited and gave verbal commands to Adams who started to run with his firearm in his hand.

One of the officers fired their weapon striking Adams multiple times, according to one of the family's attorneys, Ben Crump. Crump stated in a separate press release a witness alleges the officers never identified themselves as police. Police said in a video statement a witness did however confirm verbal commands of dropping the weapon were made.

Police said in an official press release the officers immediately rendered aid; though a video circling online shows officers pointing their firearms at Adams for nearly a minute before it cuts off. Body-cam footage provided does show police trying to comfort Adams, who cries in pain, saying 'you're gonna be okay, stay with me.'

Two minutes later showed the first officer applying a tourniquet to Adams, who was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The second individual was taken into custody without incident and later released. Police said a loaded firearm was recovered at the scene.

Prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump provided video of the shooting on his personal social media page and said it was reported that Adams was not aware the two officers were indeed legitimate and therefore 'ran for his life.' Crump referred to the fatal shooting as 'execution-style' and called for an investigation into the 'horrific execution.'

Police said they are investigating the incident and will release a video with details and additional footage. The District Attorney's Office is also investigating the fatal shooting.

Police ask those with information regarding the criminal investigation of the illegal gambling business to contact Det. Flesher at (909)-384-5655.

"It is unbelievable that another Black family has to bury their child due to police shooting first and asking questions later," Crump and co-counsel Bradley Gage said in a joint statement. "Robert appeared to be simply walking around the parking lot when officers exited their unmarked vehicle firing their weapons at him immediately...[he] never even had a chance to explain himself."

Police said in a video statement their goal is to be as transparent as possible regarding the officer-involved shooting.