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‘Could be Alive’: Attorney Says Delay In Prosecuting White Officer for Killing Man In 2018 Allowed for Same Officer to Kill a Black Man Last Month

The attorney for a Filipino man killed by a Danville, California, police officer in 2018 said the delay until last week in prosecuting the officer for the 2018 shooting allowed the same officer to go on to gun down a Black man last month.

Civil rights attorney John Burris is representing the mother of 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda, an unarmed Filipino man who was fatally shot by Danville officer Andrew Hall in 2018.

Tyrell Wilson, 32, was fatally shot by Andrew Hall on March 11 after being suspected of throwing rocks onto the freeway. Body camera footage of the shooting was released on Wednesday, April 21. (Photos: Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department/YouTube screenshots)

After the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that officer Hall has been charged with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm in the killing of Arboleda, Burris said if prosecutors had acted more quickly in prosecuting Hall, the life of another man shot by the officer last month could have been saved.

“In this instance, the delay in prosecuting Hall is particularly hurtful because Hall recently shot and killed a homeless man, Tyrell Wilson, under very questionable circumstances,” Burris said. “Wilson could be alive if Hall were prosecuted earlier.”

Wilson, 32, was fatally shot by Hall on March 11 after being contacted because he was suspected of throwing rocks onto a freeway. Body camera footage of the shooting was released on Wednesday, the same day prosecutors brought charges against Hall.

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diane Becton said Wednesday, “Officer Hall used unnecessary and unreasonable force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemere Arboleda, endangering not only Mr. Arboleda’s, life but the lives of fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area.”

Arboleda was shot nine times during a slow-moving car chase in November 2018 after someone made a report about a suspicious person. Hall left his patrol car and ran toward Arboleda’s sedan before opening fire on the vehicle as it passed by.

Just hours prior to the announcement, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office released the body and dash camera videoa, as well as stationary city footage of Hall’s fatal encounter with Wilson.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office was contracted by the city of Danville to provide policing services.

In the video, Hall exits his patrol car and walks toward Wilson, who is homeless, telling him to “come here.”

Wilson says, “No,” and “Who are you?” as he continues to walk across the intersection and away from the officer.

Hall then accused Wilson of jaywalking, saying, “You’re jaywalking now. We’re not playing this game, dude,” and then identifies himself as “Officer Andrew Hall of Danville Police,” while continuing to approach the man.

Wilson says, “From where? Authority of what?” and repeats his “no” answers to Hall’s commands to approach him as the officer closes in on the Black man in the intersection,

As Hall approached him, Wilson backed away from the officer, telling him repeatedly, “touch me and see what’s up.”

Wilson then put one hand in a hoodie pocket and pulls out a small jackknife that he flicks open with the same hand. Hall, who now has drawn his gun, screams at Wilson to drop the knife, and the Black man, knife held in hand but down by his side, answered, “No, kill me,” as he takes one step slowly forward and taps his chest. Hall then fired his weapon four seconds later, striking Wilson and causing him to drop to the ground.

When backup arrived, Hall and other officers began performing futile life-saving measures on Wilson.

In a bystander video released by Burris, who is also representing Wilson’s family, someone says, “It doesn’t seem like he was doing anything.” After Hall shoots Wilson, another person says, “Oh, my God. … This dude just got shot and killed, bro.”

“This is a homeless man, he’s walking away, minding his own business. He’s basically saying go away, leave me alone,” Burris said. “You felt compelled to kill him.” Families of both Wilson and Arboleda say they suffered from schizophrenia.

Sheriff David Livingston justified Hall’s actions in a statement, saying, “He did pull a knife on Officer Hall. He did threaten Officer Hall. And he did start advancing toward Hall in the middle of a major intersection. Officers are forced to make split-second decisions to protect themselves and the public and that’s what happened here.”

The district attorney’s office said Wilson’s shooting is being investigated.

Wilson’s family is suing Danville in federal court, claiming that the killing was unjust and that it was committed “with deliberation and premeditation.”

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