Relatives of a 23-year-old man shot and killed in a restaurant parking lot May 2 by San Bernardino police have a retained an attorney, saying the man was unarmed during the incident.Officers shot Christopher Robert Mason of San Bernardino in the parking lot of a Denny’s at 702 E. Highland Ave. after responding to a call at 3:26 a.m. about men armed with handguns, according to a police department news release.
Mason had refused to drop a handgun, according to the news release.
On Saturday, Burbank-based attorney Dennis P. Wilson called for an external investigation into the shooting during a roundtable meeting of civil rights activists in Los Angeles.
“We’ve been retained by the family to investigate what was going on there,” Wilson said. “And it appears that it’s just another case of a senseless shooting that has taken place because of reckless and dangerous acts that have been perpetrated by members of the San Bernardino Police Department,” Wilson said.
Wilson claimed that he has talked to witnesses at the scene of the shooting. He demanded that police release the Denny’s surveillance videotape of the incident.
Mason’s 21-year-old girlfriend, Nykisha Ellison, said Saturday when the shooting started, she was in the front passenger seat of the car they drove to the restaurant.
Mason waited outside the restaurant while his brother, Willie, went inside to pick up an order of food, she said.
She heard gunshots,
turned around and saw Mason walking toward her, she said. She then heard the police yell the word “gun.”Ellison said Mason, who was facing her as he approached the car, yelled, “I ain’t got nothing” to the police just before police shot.
Police have declined to comment on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.
Relatives and friends of Mason gathered Friday night for a candlelight vigil in the parking lot where the shooting occurred.
The ceremony was led by Eddie Jones, president of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association.
“It was an injustice, what happened here that night,” Jones said.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex, San Bernardino County, SB PD Tagged: | Christopher Robert Mason, Dennis P. Wilson, Eddie Jones, Los Angeles Civil Rights Association, Nykisha Ellison, San Bernardino Police Department, Willie Mason