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After Cop Shoots Armed Suspect, Activists Block Intersection, Attack Drivers Who Don’t Stop

San Bernardino, CA – Anti-police demonstrations became violent on Friday night in San Bernardino with protesters blocking roadways and keying cars that refused to stop for them.

The protests were in response to the officer-involved shooting of 35-year-old Mark Matthew Bender at about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in front of the King Tut liquor store.

Officers responded to the liquor store after receiving 911 calls about an armed man in the parking lot.

“There’s a man who’s real drunk up here jumping on top of cars, he has a gun, and he’s just going crazy,” a caller told the dispatcher in recordings released by the San Bernardino Police Department.

Cell phone video of the incident that quickly went viral showed Bender resisting arrest and being taken to the ground by a San Bernardino police officer.

In the video, the suspect clearly reached into his pocket and pulled out a black object that appeared to be a gun as the officer climbed on top of the larger man to try and control him.

The video showed that after the suspect retrieved the item from his pocket, he pushed himself up onto his knees and eventually stood up with the officer still holding onto his back, and then began to turn and face him.

That was when the officer drew his weapon and fired four shots at the man.

In the video, the suspect was clearly holding something black in his right hand after he stood up.

San Bernardino Police Sergeant John Echevarria said during a press conference on Friday morning that Bender had an extensive criminal history that included arrests for allegations of attempted murder, false imprisonment, domestic violence, theft, and possession of narcotics, the Daily Mail reported.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

Despite the video evidence and the release of bodycam and additional details by the San Bernardino police, activists took to the streets to protest the shooting, FOX News reported.

Protests began at the press conference and continued into the night despite the overwhelming evidence that Bender had pulled a weapon while struggling with a cop.

“You can’t justify a murder because he had a gun,” protesters John Anderson said, according to the Daily Mail. “He had a gun, if he did, to protect themselves, probably from them. They’re the ones doing the damage, they’re the ones doing the hurt.”

Drew Hernandez, filming for the Lives Matter Show, said a Black Lives Matter protester punched one Hispanic woman in the face while another rioter keyed her car when she didn’t follow their commands to stop.

Videos showed violent protesters attacking innocent civilians as they tried to proceed through intersections and doing thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles.

Police announced at about 9 p.m. that the protesters had been cleared from the intersection and tweeted their thanks to those who cooperated.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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