Mother of San Bernardino man killed by police calls shooting unjustified: 'I just want justice'

Attorneys for the family also claim police lied about his victim's criminal record.

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Thursday, July 21, 2022
Mom of San Bernardino man killed by police: 'I just want justice'
In addition, the family's attorneys claim police lied about his criminal record. They said police confused him with other relatives named Robert Adams, but his name was Rob Adams.

SAN BERNARDINO (KABC) -- The family of a man shot and killed by a San Bernardino police officer is desperately seeking answers after authorities released surveillance video of the shooting, and the victim's mother believes it was unjustified.

Rob Marquise Adams, 23, of San Bernardino, died after he was shot and then transported to a hospital on Saturday, July 16.

Surveillance video of the incident that has circulated online has since garnered national attention and has generated a multitude of questions.

"You see evidence of shots being fired," said Bradley Gage, one of the attorneys representing the Adams family. "There is no warning. There is no question what is was. Why were they were? They said they had evidence of a Black man with a gun."

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During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Adams' mother, Tamika Deavila-King, spoke to reporters in tears, standing next to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing the family.

"I am here standing on behalf of my son ... devastated," said King. "I have unanswered questions. I don't have nothing to go by. I just want justice ... the one who murdered my son."

The incident started just after 8 p.m. on West Highland Street.

In the video, an unmarked car pulls into the parking lot of a business, which allegedly houses an illegal gambling operation.

Adams is seen approaching the vehicle and reaching for his waistband. From the angle of a different video, he can be seen holding a gun in his right hand.

Although audio of the initial encounter was not recorded, police say when the officers exited the vehicle, they gave him commands to comply and he ignored them.

As the two uniformed officers emerge from the unmarked vehicle, Adams is seen running away between two cars parked against the wall of the building. One officer opens fire several times, hitting him.

In the video narrative released by San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman on Tuesday, he says the officers shot Adams because he failed to comply with their commands and continued to hold the gun as he tried to duck down between the two parked cars.

They feared he was going to take cover and shoot at them, while bystanders were nearby.

Police said Adams was believed to be involved with an illegal gambling operation in the area.

"They believed [Adams] intended to use the vehicle as cover to shoot at them," said Goodman in the video. "The officers saw Adams look over his left shoulder with the gun still on his right hand fearing that bystanders, and the officers' lives, were in danger. One of the officers fired his gun, striking Adams."

In response Goodman's statement, Adams' family said he was looking over his shoulder because he had already been shot and was afraid.

King said Adam had a cellphone in his hand, not a gun.

"It was not a gun, I will say it again," she said. "I have proof on my phone, the exact time that they killed my son that I was on the phone with him."

The family's attorneys also claim police lied about Adams' criminal record. They said police confused him with other relatives named Robert Adams, but his name was Rob Adams.

Attorneys confirmed Adams had a robbery conviction from his past, but was trying to move past that.

"There is a lot of pressure to accept a deal, whether you are guilty or not, to avoid the risk of years of prison, and that's what he did," said Gage.

Meanwhile, Goodman said the public needs to learn more about the incident before passing judgment. Video that circulated online, he said, "fails to provide critical details or context as to what actually occurred during the incident."

The location, he said, has a history of criminal activity. Adams was believed to be a suspect in a previous armed robbery at the location, in which he allegedly held several people at gunpoint and was in possession of multiple firearms.

Both Crump and Gage said they intend to file a lawsuit.

The San Bernardino Police Department has not responded to Eyewitness News' request for comment after Wednesday's press conference.

Meanwhile, the Adams' family said a rally in honor of their loved one will be held in front of San Bernardino City Hall on Saturday, July 23, at 11 a.m.