A white sheriff’s deputy in the San Francisco Bay Area shot and killed a Black man in the middle of a busy intersection about a minute after trying to stop him on suspicion of throwing rocks at cars last month, newly released video showed.
The graphic body-camera footage shows Andrew Hall shooting Tyrell Wilson, 33, within seconds of asking him to drop a knife on 11 March in Danville.
The footage was released on Wednesday, the same day prosecutors charged Hall with manslaughter and assault in the fatal shooting of an unarmed civilian more than two years ago, and intensified criticism of local prosecutors for not taking a quicker decision in the 2018 killing.
The video released this week shows Hall calling out to Wilson and walking toward him as Wilson walks away. Wilson eventually turns to face the deputy, holding a knife, and says: “Touch me and see what’s up.”
As they stand in the intersection, Hall asks him three times to drop the knife as Wilson motions toward his face, saying: “Kill me.” Hall shoots once, and Wilson drops to the ground as drivers watch and record video.
The entire confrontation lasts about a minute.
An attorney for Wilson’s family released another video on Thursday taken by someone stopped at the intersection.
“It doesn’t seem like he was doing anything,” someone says.
The attorney, John Burris, said Hall was unnecessarily aggressive toward Wilson, who was not causing any problems and was backing away from the deputy before he was shot without warning.
“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.”
The Contra Costa county sheriff, David Livingston, said the videos showed Wilson was threatening Hall and was possibly throwing rocks at drivers. “He did threaten Officer Hall,” Livingston said. “And he did start advancing toward Officer 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.”
Burris also represents the family of Laudemer Arboleda, a 33-year-old Filipino man shot nine times by Hall during a slow-moving car chase.
Deputies slowly pursued Arboleda through the city of Danville after someone reported a suspicious person in November 2018. Sheriff’s department video shows Hall stopping his patrol car, getting out and running toward the car Arboleda was driving. Hall opened fire and kept shooting as Arboleda’s car passed by, striking him nine times.
Hall testified at an inquest that he was afraid Arboleda would run him over.
The Contra Costa county district attorney’s office this week brought criminal charges against Hall, a rare occurrence in police shootings. The office said it charged Hall with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm in that shooting.
“Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr Arboleda’s life but the lives of his fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area,” the district attorney, Diana Becton, said in a news release.
Burris said both Wilson and Arboleda were mentally ill.
Hall’s attorney, Harry Stern, said prosecutors previously deemed the deputy’s use of force in the 2018 case justified. “The timing of their sudden reversal in deciding to file charges seems suspect and overtly political,” Stern said.