Barstow, Calif., police officers fired what sounded like more than 30 bullets into a car in Walmart’s parking lot, killing Diante “Butchie” Yarber, 26, and shooting two other passengers, including 23-year-old Marian Tafoya who was critically wounded.
The incident occurred on the morning of April 5, when Yarber, the father of three girls, ages 9, 7, and 1, drove his cousin and friends to a local Walmart. Barstow police claim they were responding to a call about a “suspicious” vehicle in the parking lot, when they spotted Yarber waiting in a black Mustang for his passengers to return to the car. This, per usual, is where law enforcement’s account of events doesn’t appear to align with reality.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department: “Officers attempted a traffic stop of the Mustang when the driver suddenly reversed the vehicle and struck one of the patrol cars. When the driver again accelerated toward the officers and struck a second patrol car, the officer-involved shooting occurred.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the story is eerily similar to a claim Balch Springs, Texas, Police Chief Jonathan Haber was forced to retract when he said that then Officer Roy Oliver opened fire on a car full of teenage black boys with a rifle in April 2017, killing 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, because the car in which the boys were traveling was “backing down the street toward officers in an aggressive manner.”
Nothing the police says can be trusted. Nothing.
The Root has obtained a photo and video of the black Mustang Yarber was driving. There appears to be no damage to the front of the car, and the back of the vehicle is not visible. The only clear damage are the bullet holes riddling the side of the car, hood and the driver’s-side windshield.
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department also wasted no time attempting to criminalize Yarber, claiming that he was a “suspect wanted for questioning in a recent crime involving a stolen vehicle.”
Apparently, we’re not supposed to ask when they made that determination—when Barstow police responded to a call about a “suspicious” vehicle parked in a grocery store parking lot on a Thursday morning, or after they pumped that car full of bullets.
According to Yarber’s aunt, Aleta Yarber, however, the car belonged to her son—who was in the car with his cousin, but was uninjured—and it was never reported stolen. She also says there is no physical damage to the car that would indicate contact with police cars.
As for her son, Aleta Yarber told The Guardian, “He has not been able to say much of anything. It was very traumatizing.”
See More- Source: The Root