San Bernardino police officer kills Black man
Allegedly, the officer had his gun drawn as he left his police car
San Bernardino police shot and killed a Black man outside a liquor store. The man’s only known offense that night was jumping on top of people’s parked cars.
The suspect, Mark Matthew Bender Jr., 35, was outside of the King Tut Liquor store near the intersection of Baseline Street and Waterman Avenue. Police received calls about a Black man “just going crazy.”
“There was a man jumping on vehicles in the parking lot of that location,” San Bernardino police Sgt. John Echevarria said.
“The suspect refused to follow those commands and attempted to walk inside the store behind me,” Echevarria said. “That store was occupied by employees and citizens.”
Police were notified about the liquor store disturbance 30 minutes before midnight or so, according to KABC, a Los Angeles ABC News affiliate.
An officer saw Bender and instead of peacefully resolving the issue, the officer called for back up.
The officer’s body camera recorded his approach. The officer initially had his weapon was drawn by the looks of the video. Eventually, the men wrestled to the ground and the audio recording heard the officer saying, “Stop fighting, dude.”
A bystander was recording the moment of the takedown, showing a white police officer climbing on Bender’s back as he lay on the ground.
Bender broke free from the officer’s grasp, but sadly was shot immediately once he was on both feet.
“Dude was coming out and he started fighting that dude, and the dude tried to get up and all we heard was ‘bam bam bam bam,'” a witness said. “He shot the man. The police shot that man.”
According to police, Bender who reached into his waist side as he stood up, had a gun and it was recovered by police, KABC reported.
Bender had a previous arrested record for domestic violence, theft, drug possession, DUI and possession of a firearm, as noted by KABC.
As police blocked off the area, some witness say the paramedics did not arrived for about 15 and 20 minutes.
“That young man was shot for nothing. The paramedics are still not here – it’s been past 15, 20 minutes.” Gregory James Robinson, a witness, said. “Something needs to be done about San Bernardino PD doing this to people.
Friday morning, a conference was created to discuss what happened during the situation. During the questioning, some people asked why did the officer allegedly had his gun drawn before leaving his police cruiser.
Echevarria, however, said the officer’s weapon was holstered before the men started to fight.
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