California cop accused of fatally shooting black man in Walmart parking lot previously charged with hate crime -

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

California cop accused of fatally shooting black man in Walmart parking lot previously charged with hate crime

Diante Yarber was shot and killed by police in a Walmart parking lot in his car with his cousins and friends in Barstow, Calif. on April 5, 2018. (Facebook)
A white police officer who was involved in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black man at a Walmart parking lot was previously charged with a hate crime but still kept his job, the dead man's attorneys said.
Diante Yarber, a father of three, was shot multiples times in California after Barstow cops fired more than 30 bullets at his car carrying several passengers on April 5.
His attorneys told KABC-TV the officers used racial slurs when confronting Yarber. The Barstow Police Department has not released the names of the officers, but lawyer Lee Merritt said his sources identified one of them as Officer Jimmie Walker.
In 2010, Walker was charged with a hate crime and battery after allegedly assaulting two people and using racial slurs on them, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
He was arrested and later released after posting $50,000 bail. The department then ordered him to stay home, according to the Times.
Walker joined the force in 2009 after serving as a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy.
Merritt told KABC that Walker pleaded to a lesser charge and was able to reinstate his position with the department.
In the April 5 incident, authorities said the officers were responding to a suspicious vehicle in Walmart's parking lot. They believed the driver was wanted for stealing a car.
When confronted, Yarber backed up into a police cruiser slowly, prompting cops to open fire, police allege.
He died at the scene. A female passenger was shot and hospitalized. Two cops have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Times. It's unclear if Walker is one of them.
Merritt argues Yarber wasn't a threat.
"They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious," Merritt told the Guardian. "They just began pouring bullets. It's irresponsible. It's dangerous. It's mind-boggling, the use of force."

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