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Danville: Contra Costa Sheriff's deputy pleads not guilty to 2018 shooting of Laudemer Arboleda

Arboleda's family vows to pursue justice; defense says shooting was justified

Andrew Hall's attorney (pictured) says the shooting of Laudemer Arboleda was in self-defense; Arboleda's family claims otherwise. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputy Andrew Hall pleaded not guilty on Wednesday for the on-duty killing of a man in downtown Danville in 2018. Hall's attorneys stated the shooting was done in self-defense, while the family claims that it was unjustified.

Laudemer Arboleda, a 33-year-old Newark resident, was shot and killed in Danville on the morning of Nov. 3, 2018. (Photo courtesy the Law Offices of John L. Burris)

Giving the plea at his arraignment in the Contra Costa County Superior Court on Wednesday, Hall has been charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office with felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic weapon in connection with shooting Laudemer Arboleda nine times at close range during a police response in downtown Danville in November 2018 -- this is the first time in county history that the DA's office has filed criminal charges against a police officer for their actions during a shooting.

Hall is currently on paid administrative leave, according to his attorney Harry Stern, who added that he believes the charges are primarily politically motivated and that Hall acted in self-defense.

"I am absolutely confident that this case was brought for political reasons rather than the weighing of evidence because, in fact, when this case was reviewed objectively by a couple of different entities, the use of force was found to be in compliance with policies of law," Stern said after the arraignment.

"He fired in defense of his life, there's absolutely no question about that. That's what this case is going to be all about," he added.

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Hall shot Arboleda nine times at close range on Nov. 3, 2018. Video evidence released after the shooting shows that the 33-year-old Newark man was shot while he tried to drive slowly around police vehicles attempting to block his path in downtown Danville.

Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Arboleda's family in a civil case against the town of Danville and county Sheriff's Office -- which provides police services to the town by contract -- called the shooting "murder" that was spurred by poor tactics conducted by Officer Hall and the sheriff's department.

"Our view is, at the time the officer fired his gun, he was not in danger," Burris said. "This is an unjustifiable shooting. That's been our position from the very beginning."

"I've always had the view that, looking at these video tapes, it's pretty clear that the officer was in a position of safety and jumped in front (of Arboleda) to make it appear that his life was in danger. You can't create a confrontation and shoot your way out of it," he added.

Family of Arboleda, who say that the Newark man was suffering a mental health crisis at the time of his death, were packed into the courthouse on Wednesday. Arboleda’s mother, Jeannie Atienza, was among them and vowed to continue to fight for her son.

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"The only thing I can say is that I am not going to stop seeking justice for Laudemere," Atienza said.

DA officials say that on the day of the shooting officers were responding to a call that a man, later identified as Arboleda, rang the doorbell of a resident at Cottage Place and was lingering in the area before eventually leaving in a 2014 silver Honda.

Hall, who was not involved in the initial pursuit, stopped his vehicle in front of the police pursuit, which DA officials say led Arboleda to attempt to "slowly" maneuver his vehicle around and away from police.

Arboleda was taken to San Ramon Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries at 11:44 a.m. that day.

Hall is currently out on $220,000 bail and, according to Stern, his next preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 20.

Hall is the same Danville police officer who shot and killed Tyrell Wilson at the Sycamore Valley Road-Camino Ramon intersection on March 11. Wilson, a 32-year-old homeless man who family say was mentally impaired with schizophrenia, died at a local hospital days later.

These were the only police shootings of any kind in the town of Danville since 2001.

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Danville: Contra Costa Sheriff's deputy pleads not guilty to 2018 shooting of Laudemer Arboleda

Arboleda's family vows to pursue justice; defense says shooting was justified

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 4:54 pm

Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputy Andrew Hall pleaded not guilty on Wednesday for the on-duty killing of a man in downtown Danville in 2018. Hall's attorneys stated the shooting was done in self-defense, while the family claims that it was unjustified.

Giving the plea at his arraignment in the Contra Costa County Superior Court on Wednesday, Hall has been charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office with felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic weapon in connection with shooting Laudemer Arboleda nine times at close range during a police response in downtown Danville in November 2018 -- this is the first time in county history that the DA's office has filed criminal charges against a police officer for their actions during a shooting.

Hall is currently on paid administrative leave, according to his attorney Harry Stern, who added that he believes the charges are primarily politically motivated and that Hall acted in self-defense.

"I am absolutely confident that this case was brought for political reasons rather than the weighing of evidence because, in fact, when this case was reviewed objectively by a couple of different entities, the use of force was found to be in compliance with policies of law," Stern said after the arraignment.

"He fired in defense of his life, there's absolutely no question about that. That's what this case is going to be all about," he added.

Hall shot Arboleda nine times at close range on Nov. 3, 2018. Video evidence released after the shooting shows that the 33-year-old Newark man was shot while he tried to drive slowly around police vehicles attempting to block his path in downtown Danville.

Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Arboleda's family in a civil case against the town of Danville and county Sheriff's Office -- which provides police services to the town by contract -- called the shooting "murder" that was spurred by poor tactics conducted by Officer Hall and the sheriff's department.

"Our view is, at the time the officer fired his gun, he was not in danger," Burris said. "This is an unjustifiable shooting. That's been our position from the very beginning."

"I've always had the view that, looking at these video tapes, it's pretty clear that the officer was in a position of safety and jumped in front (of Arboleda) to make it appear that his life was in danger. You can't create a confrontation and shoot your way out of it," he added.

Family of Arboleda, who say that the Newark man was suffering a mental health crisis at the time of his death, were packed into the courthouse on Wednesday. Arboleda’s mother, Jeannie Atienza, was among them and vowed to continue to fight for her son.

"The only thing I can say is that I am not going to stop seeking justice for Laudemere," Atienza said.

DA officials say that on the day of the shooting officers were responding to a call that a man, later identified as Arboleda, rang the doorbell of a resident at Cottage Place and was lingering in the area before eventually leaving in a 2014 silver Honda.

Hall, who was not involved in the initial pursuit, stopped his vehicle in front of the police pursuit, which DA officials say led Arboleda to attempt to "slowly" maneuver his vehicle around and away from police.

Arboleda was taken to San Ramon Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries at 11:44 a.m. that day.

Hall is currently out on $220,000 bail and, according to Stern, his next preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 20.

Hall is the same Danville police officer who shot and killed Tyrell Wilson at the Sycamore Valley Road-Camino Ramon intersection on March 11. Wilson, a 32-year-old homeless man who family say was mentally impaired with schizophrenia, died at a local hospital days later.

These were the only police shootings of any kind in the town of Danville since 2001.

Comments

Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 17, 2021 at 11:28 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2021 at 11:28 am

Danville, California, voted "safest city in California!" I guess that's only when Officer Hall is off-duty! It gives me no pleasure to be critical of our PD, but the fact of the matter is that Hall should not have been returned to duty after this killing. Anyone who would dump nine rounds into someone, should never have access to a firearm ever again, let alone be a sworn officer who gets to carry a deadly weapon. The young man Hall killed earlier this year would still be alive today if it weren't for this decision. I only hope that part of Hall's trial delves into just who thought it was a "good idea" to return him to duty. That person, or persons work for the Sheriff's Department and they should be identified. But my experience with law enforcement leads me to believe that they will go about their "duties" unmolested. They are past masters at "circling the wagons" when anyone questions their actions or behavior.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jun 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm

As far as "pumping nine rounds in someone," consider the fact that the suspect failed to stop as Officer Hall stood in front of the car with his weapon drawn - and still the suspect refused to stop.

If the Sheriff's department policy allows a deputy to shoot at a motorized vehicle - especially when said vehicle endangers the life of a peace officer - then Deputy Hall followed the law. Where Deputy Hall may have erred is that a round (bullet) could have glanced off the windshield and injured another deputy.

However, since you appear to be an expert in police shootings, I wonder what your take is on an incident regarding LAPD last April 2021.

Officers were en route to a radio call with their lights and sirens on when a car pulled in front of them, stopped suddenly and backed into the patrol car.

The driver of the car got out and was observed wearing body armor as he moved toward the officers, who had exited their car, police said.

The suspect had his right hand hidden behind his back, counted backwards from three and was moving his arm forward before officers fired at him.

Several shots were fired at the suspect Paul - several shots. The suspect died of his wounds.

Oh, but hold on a minute, the suspect was unarmed - even though he was wearing body armor and walking towards the officers with one hand behind his back.

Now, let's contrast the actions of LAPD to the shooting of a second suspect by Deputy Hall. The suspect in that case produced a knife and took three steps towards Deputy Hall before Hall engaged the suspect with his firearm.

Was LAPD justified in using deadly force in their encounter? You betcha. Was Deputy Hall justified in using deadly force in his encounter - an encounter where the suspect actually produced what amounted to a deadly weapon? You betcha.


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