The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Barstow, California:
Execution at Walmart

Apr 30, 2018

The police killing of Diante “Butchie” Yarber, a 26-year-old black man and father of three, has drawn protests from the community in Barstow, California.

In fact, the protests began right after the shooting and right where it happened, a Walmart parking lot, on April 5. A witness, shopper Patricia Cullen, said, “People were very upset, and some were yelling and harassing the officers.”

Witnesses saw the deadly shooting of the driver and feared for their own lives when the cops fired dozens of shots within a few seconds into the car which had four people in it. One of the passengers in the car, 23-year-old Mariana Tafoya, also suffered serious wounds and had to be airlifted to a trauma center. Another passenger, Yarber’s cousin, was shot in the leg.

Police defend their actions on the basis of Yarber’s collisions with two police vehicles in an attempt to escape the situation. They acknowledge that he was unarmed and attempted to communicate with them before re-entering the vehicle.

Police gave conflicting and constantly changing stories about why they initiated this “traffic stop” for a car already parked at Walmart. Finally, police said Yarber was in violation of probation.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that the police shot up a car with four people in it, all unarmed, in a crowded parking lot. An attorney hired by Yarber’s family summed it up by saying that Yarber “wasn’t complying–and they decided to execute him for it.”

This is what means to be a black man in the year 2018–you are a walking target no matter what you do.