Police in San Bernardino, California, fatally shot a 23-year-old man on Saturday as he was fleeing, according to surveillance footage that shows an officer firing just seconds after arriving in an unmarked vehicle, the US media reported.

Iran PressAmerica: Security camera footage from a parking lot in San Bernardino, a city an hour east of Los Angeles, shows two officers driving up in an unmarked car at about 8 pm as Robert Adams stood in the lot. As soon as two officers exited the car, Adams turned away from them and ran. It appeared that roughly five seconds after they had stepped out of the car, one of the officers fired at Adams from a distance, seeming to hit him and causing him to collapse to the ground.

The video of the killing went viral on Monday and sparked national outrage, with civil rights lawyer Ben Crump calling it a “horrific execution” and Adams’s family urging authorities to file murder charges against the officer, who has not been identified. The killing comes weeks after police in Akron, Ohio, fired more than 60 rounds at Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man who was also fleeing, sparking widespread protests.

The San Bernardino police department said in a statement that the two officers were with a “specialized investigations unit” and were “conducting surveillance in an unmarked vehicle” after “receiving information that a black male armed with a gun was in the parking lot”. The surveillance footage does not have audio, but the department claimed that the officers gave verbal commands after they exited the car and that Adams had a gun in his hand as he fled.

Adams’s family said he probably did not know they were officers when they arrived. His mother, Tamika Deavila King, told the Guardian on Tuesday night: “A part of me is gone now, and I can’t ever get it back. I want criminal prosecution and I want justice and I never want another mother to have to bear this pain. It hurts so bad.”

Audwin King, Adams’s stepfather, told the Guardian: “We want full justice for our son. We want cops like that off of the force. Police are supposed to protect and serve, not hunt and kill, and we can see that is what that man did. My stepson didn’t have a chance to defend himself, and the officer jumped out with the intention to gun him down like a dog in the streets.”

Jennifer Kohrell, a spokesperson for the police department, said Adams did not fire at the officers.


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