Diante Yarber was a young 26-year-old man who was killed by police in Barstow, California on April 5 — a little more than two weeks after Stephon Clark was senselessly killed by cops in Sacramento on March 18.
Officers reportedly fired about 30 shots at an unarmed Yarber, claiming that he looked “suspicious” and tried to collide with a patrol car while driving a Black Ford Mustang full of passengers at a Walmart store. This “suspicious” police narrative is all too common in the fatal shootings of people of color. It’s a story that paints a negative picture of an unarmed person whose life mattered to his family and the world. It’s a story that seeks to promote the erasure of Black and Brown bodies, something that must continuously be fought by activists across the nation.
What must also be fought is the opacity surrounding the fatal shooting of Yarber. In the days after Yarber’s death, no police body camera or surveillance videos from Walmart have been released. The Barstow Police Department won’t answer calls from Yarber’s family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, who has been a familiar face in other cases involving police brutality and killings including Jordan Edwards and Marlin Gipson, said to Think Progress.
A family member of Yarber did post a short video of the Mustang with bullet holes in it after the police department did return it to them, Merritt said. Merritt also posted one video from a bystander at the scene on social media earlier this week.
Here’s what else we know about Yarber:
He Was A Father Of Three
The man’s 7-year-old daughter, Naliyah has told the world that her father’s “life mattered.”
He Has A Sister
Following Clark’s fatal shooting, his brother, Stevante Clark spoke out and lead protests for justice. Now, Ruby Hawkins, who is Yarber’s sister, has called out the officers who killed her brother.
“They are bullies with badges … I don’t know how you can fear for your life with a person that is moving away from you,” Hawkins told The Guardian who first reported Clark’s death.
His Nickname Is Butchie
Yarber was affectionally known by the moniker among family and friends.