Mark Matthew Bender Jr. is a California man whose shooting death by a San Bernardino police officer has sparked protests. Police say that Bender was armed with a firearm he wasn’t legally allowed to possess.
They moved quickly to release two videos, photos, details, and 911 audio from the shooting.
You can watch the police body cam and other video below but be aware that both are disturbing. One of the videos shows the actual shooting. The shooting occurred at 11:16 p.m. on October 22.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say Bender Ignored the Officer’s Orders After a 911 Caller Alleged He was Armed & ‘Jumping on Cars’
Police released two videos; the body cam footage, which you can watch above, shows Bender disregarding the officer’s orders but goes black as the shooting rings out, although you can hear the gunfire.
Police also released a second video that does capture the shooting. You can watch it here:
In a press release, police wrote that, upon reviewing the recording of the officer’s body camera video, “we were able to display the following images. These images depict what our uniformed officers encountered, just before the incident occurred. These images can be graphic, therefore, viewer discretion is advised.” Those images can be seen under the second fact header below.
According to police, “the uniformed officer responds to the convenience store alone after the radio call was announced. He approached the suspect who matched the description of a black male adult, wearing a white t-shirt and black shorts. The caller reported that the suspect had been armed and was jumping on cars.”
The responding officer “identified himself and ordered the suspect to show his hands,” said police. “The suspect clearly ignored the officer and walked away from him, saying he was going to the store. The officer noticed several patrons and employees inside the convenience store and attempted to detain the suspect before he entered, to prevent him from harming anyone inside.”
2. Police Say a Loaded Gun Was Recovered at the Scene & Accused Bender of Pulling It From His Pocket
According to the press release, “the considerably larger suspect was uncooperative and difficult for the officer to subdue. The officer wrapped his arms around the suspect and took him to the ground, but the suspect was strong enough to begin getting up even with the officers weight on him. The suspect reached under his t-shirt and pulled a black handgun from his front right pocket.”
The officer “noticed the suspect had a black handgun in his right hand and he immediately disengaged the suspect for his safety.”
The police news release continued: “The suspect remained uncooperative and was able to gain a standing position before he began turning toward the officer and bystanders with the gun still in his hand. The officer fired four rounds from his department-issued duty weapon striking the suspect multiple times. The suspect’s loaded handgun was recovered from the scene.”
The officer requested medical aid for Bender within seconds of the shooting, but Bender died of his injuries at an area hospital.
3. Protesters Walked Into Roadways as Outrage Erupted
“Please avoid the area of Baseline Street and Waterman Avenue due to an active protest with pedestrians walking into the roadways,” San Bernardino police wrote on Facebook on October 23.
According to SB Sun, several dozen people gathered for a “largely peaceful” protest, and a flyer was distributed on social media that read: “We demand to see body (camera) footage and footage from the store location. We demand the truth.”
The officer’s name was not released.
The Black Lives Matter IE Facebook page wrote on Friday October 23, “On Oct. 22nd at 11:30pm Mark Matthew Bender Jr. was murdered by a white policeman outside of King Tut’s Liquor in San Bernardino, CA. Partial video footage released reveals that during an attempt to place Bender under restraint an officer uses deadly force without provocation that results in Bender Jr.’s death, a black man. The community has planned a protest tonight in solidarity with the Bender family to demand justice for Bender Jr. and to demand unredacted footage of the incident is released to the public. Today at King Tut’s Liquor in San Bernardino, Ca @ 5:30pm.”
After police released the body cam footage, BLM wrote, “After watching the extended body camera footage it’s become clear that Mark Bender Jr. was murdered without provocation or justification. Upon arrival the responding officer immediately drew his weapon and incited a life or death situation for the victim. His use of force was completely unreasonable and unnecessary. There is no reason that Mark Bender Jr. should not be alive today.”
4. Police Released 911 Audio From the Shooting
Police also released 911 audio from the shooting, which you can listen to above. The caller, a female, reported that a man was “going crazy” and jumping on cars.
The caller said she believed Bender had been drinking. The caller said “he has a gun” of Bender.
She gave a description of Bender to the dispatcher.
Another press release stated, “The suspect was able to physically overpower the officer and retrieved a weapon from his pocket, and was turning to face the officer.”
The officer fired his weapon four times.
5. Bender Has a Long Criminal History
Police released Bender’s criminal history.
The suspect had a “lengthy violent criminal past going back 17 years,” San Bernardino police wrote in a press release.
The suspect “had several arrests for domestic violence, grand theft, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and receiving stolen property. He had additional arrests for false imprisonment, criminal threats, and attempted murder. The suspect was an ex-felon with several probation violation and parole violation arrests. An ex-felon is not permitted to possess a firearm.”
Police said they located a black 9MM semi-automatic handgun.