A California police officer was convicted Tuesday of assault with a firearm, but the jury did not reach a verdict over a voluntary manslaughter charge in the 2018 killing of a man who was shot nine times during a low-speed chase.
Danville police officer Andrew Hall was accused of shooting and killing Laudemer Arboleda, a 33-year-old Filipino American, as he tried to slowly maneuver his car between two police vehicles in Danville, California.
Even though the shooting happened in 2018, prosecutors didn’t announce charges against Hall until April 21, 2021, a day after Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd.
Floyd’s killing at the hands of police in May 2020 triggered national and global protests for social justice — elevating the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.
Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton hailed the verdict on Tuesday.
“Today’s guilty verdict holds accountable defendant Andrew Hall for his excessive use of force in the fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda,” Becton said in a statement. “Deputy Hall’s actions were not only a crime, but they tarnished the badge and they harmed the reputation of all the good, hard working police officers that work for our community. My Office extends our condolences to the family of Mr. Arboleda.”
She added: “With regards to the voluntary manslaughter count, we will take the matter under review to determine the appropriate next steps,” Becton added.
“Unreasonable and unnecessary force” was used, prosecutors say
Hall’s encounter with Arboleda began after officers responded to a call that Arboleda had rung a home’s doorbell and was lingering in the area, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said at the time.
Arboleda drove away and was stopped after police initiated a traffic stop, after which he drove away from officers who were approaching his vehicle, according to the DA’s statement. A traffic pursuit ensued, with Hall stopping his car in front of the approaching vehicles, prosecutors said.
“Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit,” Becton said at the time. “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.”
At the time, Arboleda’s family attorney — John Burris — said Arboleda was fatally shot “for ‘acting suspicious,’ despite having committed no crime whatsoever.”
Meanwhile, Hall also fatally shot Tyrell Wilson, a 32-year-old Black man, in March 2021. Wilson was carrying a grocery bag and walking by himself toward his homeless encampment, according to Burris, who also represents Wilson’s family.
Wilson’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Danville and the police officers.
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Laudemer Arboleda. He was a 33-year-old Filipino American.
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