District Attorney Diana Becton announced the filing of voluntary manslaughter and assault charges against a Danville police officer who shot and killed a Newark man after a slow speed pursuit through town on Nov. 3, 2018.
Becton announced that her office had filed felony charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semi-automatic weapon against Andrew Hall, a Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputy working under contract with the town of Danville as a police officer, in connection with the “unnecessary” death of Laudemar Arboleda, 33.
Hall shot Arboleda nine times as the Newark man attempted to steer his car through a police roadblock.
Becton said Wednesday’s action is the first time in her office’s recent history that charges have been brought against a police officer for their actions during a shooting.
Officer Hall is charged with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm for the alleged unlawful activity and unreasonable force used during the shooting. Each felony count also contains an enhancement concerning Officer Hall’s discharge of his firearm, a Sig 226, 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The second felony count also contains an enhancement for Hall’s unlawful activity causing great bodily injury against Arboleda.
An arrest warrant was signed by the Honorable Nancy Davis Stark for Hall’s arrest. His bail for the alleged offenses is $220,000, according to the district attorney’s office.
“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. We in law enforcement must conduct ourselves in a professional and lawful manner when interacting with the public. 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,” said District Attorney Becton.
If convicted, Hall could be required to serve 22 years in state prison and could never serve as a law enforcement officer again.
On the day of the shooting police responded to a report of a suspicious person near Cottage Lane and Laurel Drive, next to Interstate Highway 680 in downtown Danville. A caller reported seeing a man exit his car, walk toward several homes in the area with bags in his hands, go back to his car and circle the neighborhood, police said at the time.
It was suggested after the shooting that Arboleda, who was mentally ill, wanted to move out of his family’s condo and sought to find the property manager for help but apparently had the wrong address and did not explain this to neighbors, who found his actions suspicious.
Police pulled up as Arboleda drove off, ignoring an officer’s commands to stop. A slow-speed, seven-minute pursuit ensued until Arboleda drove to the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road, where two police cars attempting to block him.
Arboleda began to drive toward a gap between the two cars when Hall stepped out of his car, gun drawn, and fired at Arboleda, striking him 9 times.
Arboleda was taken to the San Ramon Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.