Security footage showing the events leading up to the fatal police shooting of a 23-year-old Black man identified as Robert Adams surfaced on social media Monday, drawing scrutiny to San Bernardino police.
“I could understand if he was a threat to them,” Adams’ mother, Tamika Deavila King said. “But he was not a threat to them. He was running for his life.”
On Saturday around 8 p.m., uniformed officers from a specialized unit were investigating complaints from neighbors about an illegal gambling facility, according to the San Bernardino Police Department.
Security camera footage showed two officers driving past the facility in an unmarked vehicle before stopping just a few yards away from the gambling facility’s parking lot.
Robert Adams, 23, could be seen talking to someone before walking in the direction of the officers’ vehicle. As he approached the car, two officers jumped out, guns drawn, just as Adams started running towards a nearby wall.
Officers shot Adams in the back as he ran between two parked cars just 15 seconds after getting out of their car. He died later in the hospital.
The officers, according to the family, did not identify themselves as police officers. SBPD stated in a release that the two officers were “fully uniformed and tried to give Adams verbal commands before hr began to run.”
Police described him as an armed felon and an unlicensed security guard for the facility. They later found a loaded Taurus G3C at the scene and said that Adams was carrying the gun while fleeing.
“The boy ran,” said the victim’s stepfather Audwin King. “[The officer] hunted him down like a dog. If [Adams] still had some life in him, the [the officer] probably would’ve finished the clip. So, when do we have justice for that?”
Tamika King stated that she was on the phone with her son just moments before the shooting when the line abruptly cut out.
“It let me know that’s why the phone hung up because they were killing my son,” she said.
The family confirmed that Adams worked as a security guard for the gambling establishment and denied that the 23-year-old had a gun. In a press release, police included a still image of Adams holding a handgun.
SBPD stated that more information will be provided soon through a public relations firm soon.
“We are asking the community to please withhold their judgment on the situation until they have all the available facts and details,” Chief Darren Goodman said in a statement.
Adams’ family has stated that they want the officer who killed the young man charged with murder. “We want justice. We want his badge. We want his job,” said Audwin. We want murder charges.”