Posted on: December 19, 2022, 01:15h. 

Last updated on: December 19, 2022, 01:45h.

The family of a 23-year-old black man shot dead by police last July outside an illegal online gaming business in San Bernardino, Calif., is suing the police department for $100 million.

Rob Marquise Adams
Images released by San Bernardino police appear to show Rob Marquise Adams was holding a gun at the time he was fatally shot by police. His family claims he was unarmed and the object in the image is his cell phone. (Image: SBPD)

Rob Marquise Adams was shot seven times in the back as nearby security video appeared to show him running away from officers.

The plaintiffs say the civil rights lawsuit isn’t just about obtaining restitution for the loss of their beloved son. They believe the only way to get police to reverse a “pattern and practice … [of using] unnecessary, unjustifiable excessive use of force” is to hit them with massive liabilities.

It will never be enough,” Brad Gage, an attorney for the family, told KTLA. “It can never be enough because Rob is gone.

“The only way that you can get them to make real change is if they have to pay so much money,” he added. “It’s too expensive for us to allow our officers to use improper and dangerous tactics and kill innocent people.”

‘Armed Black Male’

According to the official police report of the July 19 incident, two uniformed Special Investigation Unit Officers received reports that “a black male armed with a gun” was in the parking lot of the gambling den, located in the 400 block of West Highland Street.

Upon arrival, police saw two men. They claimed one, later identified as Adams, “pulled a gun from his waistband and began walking towards” them, according to the report.

The officers got out of their vehicle and gave verbal commands to drop the weapon. Adams sprinted in the opposite direction, toward two cars, still carrying the gun,” the report claimed.

“One of the officers fired his service weapon, striking Adams. Officers immediately rendered medical aid…”

The security video shows Adams approaching the unmarked police car. In his right hand, he holds something that could be a gun, but the footage is inconclusive.

Adams’ family claims he wasn’t armed and the object in his hand was a cell phone. SBPD claims he was armed and that a Taurus G3C 9mm was recovered from his body after he was killed.

Shot in the Back

In the video, as Adams gets close to the car, the doors swing open. The two officers jump out and charge toward him, weapons drawn. Adams turns and flees. At no point does he point the object in his hand at the officers.

The video appears to show Adams being shot in the back multiple times as he runs to take cover between two cars.

The SBPD said in July that an investigation into the incident was underway. The department asked the community to “withhold judgment” until investigators had “all the available facts and details.”

The new video “fails to provide any details or context as to what occurred during the incident,” the SBPD claimed.