DANVILLE (KPIX) — Gathered in front of the Danville Public Library, a group of mothers, members of an unfortunate sorority of women who lost their sons in police shootings, came to mark the three-year anniversary of Laudemer Arboleda’s death.
On Nov. 3, 2018, Arboleda led Danville police on a slow-speed pursuit after someone called the police in response to the Newark man knocking on their door. Arboleda pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, officers drew their guns without shooting as Arboleda drove away.READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes To Increase Police Staffing
Arboleda’s family has said the 33-year-old was mentally ill, a condition for which he was hospitalized earlier in 2018.
Former Danville police officer Andrew Hall only became involved in the pursuit at its end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda’s front right side.
As Arboleda tried pulling away at 6 mph, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An initial investigation by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office — which contracts with Danville for police services — cleared Hall of any wrongdoing.
“It didn’t have to happen. Thank you to everyone who has extended their support and love. We will continue to fight for justice and hopefully this will never ever happen to anyone else again,” said Laudemer’s sister, Jennifer Leong.
The families of Angelo Quinto and Miles Hall — who both died during fatal encounters with East Bay police — were also on hand. They marched down Front Street in Danville asking for justice and a change in the way the mentally ill are treated by law enforcement.
“People with mental health problems are so much more likely to be shot and killed by the police. That’s why now we need different ways,” said Tawn Hall, mother of Miles Hall.READ MORE: Bay Area Remembers 1941 Attack On Pearl Harbor That Changed America Forever
“We are here in solidarity with the Arboleda family because of this horrible injustice that has not ceased in these three years,” said Bella Quinto, sister of Angelo Quinto.
“I am requesting Diana Becton again to re-try the case for voluntary manslaughter,” said Jeannie Atienza, Arboleda’s mother.
Last week, it was announced that Contra Costa County would pay $4.9 million to the Arboleda family in a settlement.
Hall, still employed by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, is also accused in the on-duty shooting death of Tyrell Wilson in Danville earlier this year.
Bearing white roses and walking the route Laudemer was killed on, they are asking for a change in how people of color and people with mental illness are treated by law enforcement.
“These were four men of color with a history of mental health struggles who were murdered for their illness. Would we ever do this to a cancer patient,” said organizer Veronica Benjamin.MORE NEWS: 'Prolific' San Francisco Retail Theft Suspect Back In Jail After New Arrest
But this is not just about marches and vigils for these families. They say they want to enact change on city, state, and federal levels, to make sure that no one else has to suffer the same pain they have.