Danville officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in deadly 2018 shooting

DANVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- For the first time in memorable history, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office filed charges against a police officer for killing someone while on duty. The same officer was also involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man in Danville last month.

After two and a half years of review, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diane Becton announced on Wednesday she would be charging Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall with voluntary manslaughter and assault for the death of 33-year-old Laudemere Arboleda.

"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," said Becton.

Arboleda was killed during a pursuit in November 2018 after nearby residents had reported him acting suspiciously.

RELATED: Danville officer who shot man last week, fatally shot man while on duty in 2018

"Officer Hall ran around the rear of his vehicle and fired his semi-automatic pistol at Mr. Arboleda. Mr. Arboleda was hit nine times," said Becton.

His lawyer claims self-defense.

"When Officer Hall fired his weapon, he felt not only was his life in the imminent danger by virtue of this car approaching him, but he felt his Sergeant's life was in danger as well because he saw a sergeant arrive and believed his sergeant was in the path of the car," said Hall's lawyer Michael Rains.

After the shooting, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office's internal review found Hall did not violate any policies and allowed him to continue working.

But now has now been charged with two felonies; voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

"Very pleased about it, it's a long time coming," said the Arboleda family's attorney John Burris. "Our view was if they had been prosecuted earlier our second client would not be dead."

RELATED: Parents of homeless man killed by Danville officer say he was 'executed,' file lawsuit

He's referring to Tyrell Wilson, who was shot and killed by Officer Hall on March 11.

That incident was captured in newly released bodycam and surveillance video.

Danville Police said they received reports of a man throwing objects onto the freeway.

When Officer Hall arrives, he approaches Wilson and confronts him in the intersection. In the video, you can see Wilson pull out a knife and Officer Hall tells him to drop it before shooting Wilson in the head within seconds of delivering that order. He died a week later.

Burris says, in both cases, Officer Hall failed to use any de-escalation techniques.

RELATED: Family, protesters demand justice for Black man killed by Danville officer

"You can't create a conflict and then shoot your way out of it and claim it was self-defense," said Burris.

The town of Danville, which contracts with the sheriff's department for police services says they are looking into new training for officers.

"We will continue to advocate for such services at the state, county, and local level. Our hope is that moving forward from these incidents, we will be able to build to a better methodology in handling these issues within our community," said Mayor Renee Morgan.

A warrant has been issued for Officer Hall's arrest. An arraignment date has not yet been set.
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