DANVILLE (CBS SF) — It took less than 40 seconds for a confrontation between a suspect armed with a knife and a Danville police officer to go from an argument to a fatal shooting last month, according to bodycam video released by the Contra Costa Sheriff’s department on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the same officer – Andrew Hall – was also charged Wednesday with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault in a 2018 shooting in Danville that killed a suspect during a slow-speed chase.READ MORE: BART Service Nears Pre-Pandemic Level Monday as Hours Expand
The video footage from March is from Hall’s body camera when he responded to a report of a man throwing rocks at passing cars on Interstate Highway 680 from the Sycamore Valley Road overpass.
As he approached the busy corner on foot, Hall saw Tyrell Wilson jaywalking across the street. Hall calls out for Wilson to stop on the video and the two men approached each other. Wilson asks the deputy who he is and gets into a verbal altercation.
“Don’t touch me or you’ll see what’s up,” Wilson says to Hall as he displayed a knife in his right hand, prompting Hall to point his service at Wilson and order him to drop the knife.
Seconds later, Wilson stopped making a threatening motion with the knife and approached Hall with his arm hanging down by his side, saying “kill me.” Hall then fired a single round and Wilson immediately crumpled to the ground.
On the video at least one person is heard stopping at the intersection to yell from their vehicle “You didn’t have to shoot him.”
Caution: Extremely graphic video
Hours after the bodycam video was released, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced the felony charges against Hall for the 2018 death of Laudemer Arboleda when Hall was a sheriff’s deputy. Hall shot Arboleda nine times during a pursuit in downtown Danville.READ MORE: 4 Die in Helicopter Crash in Colusa County North of Sacramento
At the time, Police Chief Allan Shields said Hall feared for his life as Arboleda drove toward him, prompting the gunfire. On Wednesday, Becton dismissed that claim.
“Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr. Arboleda’s life but the lives of his fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area,” said Becton. “We in law enforcement must conduct ourselves in a professional and lawful manner when interacting with the public. Officer Hall’s actions underscore the need for a continued focus on de-escalation training and improved coordinated responses to individuals suffering from mental illness.”
According to the DA’s office, Arboleda drove away from officers who had initiated a traffic stop. During a pursuit in downtown Danville, Hall stopped his patrol vehicle in front of an approaching Arboleda. As Arboleda began to slowly maneuver between Hall’s vehicle and another police vehicle, Hall ran around the rear of his vehicle and his service pistol at Arboleda, hitting him nine times, the DA’s office said.
Earlier this month, civil rights attorney John Burris filed a federal lawsuit against Hall, the Town of Danville, and the Danville Police Department on behalf of Tyrell Wilson’s family. Burris is also representing the Arboleda family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Danville and the county.
“The delay in prosecuting Hall is particularly hurtful because Hall recently shot and killed [Wilson] under very questionable circumstances,” said Burris in a prepared statement Wednesday. “Wilson could be alive if Hall had been prosecuted earlier.”
The Danville Town Council issued a statement Wednesday on the developments, saying, “We regret the two tragic incidents that resulted in the losses of both Laudemer Arboledo and Tyrell Wilson. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these men. We respect the decision of the District Attorney in her decision to file charges related to the shooting of Mr. Arboledo, following the two and one-half year review of the case. Today’s release of the body camera footage related to the Tyrell Wilson shooting is essential, as the public has the right to know what happened both during and following the shooting.”
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