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The family of Rob Adams, who was fatally shot by San Bernardino Police July 16, 2022, has settled with the city for $4 million.

“They don’t pay that kind of money without strong evidence of wrongdoing,” his family’s attorneys said in the press release announcing the settlement.

Adams, a 23-year-old Black man, was fatally shot seven times in the back in a San Bernardino parking lot across the street from Arrowview Middle School.

“Though Mr. Adams’s wrongful death can’t be undone, it is our hope that this settlement creates change within the San Bernardino police department and provides relief for the Adams family,” the attorneys’ release said.

Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Bradley Gage of Law Offices of Goldberg and Gage represented Adams’ family. 

“It’s certainly my mission, my life’s mission, to raise the value of Black life in America,” said Crump, when he announced the suit. “If we don’t shock the conscience, then how many other black mothers and fathers are going to have to bury their children because the police thought it was OK, that it was allowed, that it was justified to shoot our Black children in the back?”

Multiple videos of the shooting have been released by both the police and Adams’ family.

In them, Adams is seen with a friend in a parking lot behind Golden Valley Medical & Oxygen Services, by the corner of North D Street and West Highland Avenue. An unmarked car pulls up, and Adams walks toward it. Within seconds, two police officers emerge from the car, one of them appears to be shining a flashlight, the other appears to have a gun drawn. Adams runs between two other cars, to the wall. An officer shoots. Six seconds pass between the officers’ emerging from the car and their firing.

San Bernardino Police Chief Darren Goodman released a video statement July 19. In it, he said the officers were responding to a call of a man with a gun. 

According to the city’s release, the officers were investigating a location known for illegal gambling. They claimed that Adams, who matched the description of a man suspected to be the gambling den’s security guard, lifted his T-shirt when the officers approached, revealing a firearm.

Adams’ attempt to run was viewed as an attempt to find cover in order to ambush the officers, the release said.

The settlement includes attorney fees, according to the city’s press release.

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