The Danville police officer at the center of the town’s two officer-involved shooting cases entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment Wednesday in the 2018 death of Newark resident Laudemer Arboleda.
Andrew Hall’s attorney maintained during the hearing and meeting with reporters outside of court that his client took appropriate action while acting in defense of his life when he shot and killed Arboleda the morning of Nov. 3, 2018. Arboleda’s family, however, maintain that Arboleda, 33, was suffering a mental health crisis at the time he was involved in a police chase through downtown Danville on that day. They say body camera footage taken during the incident show Arboleda attempting to slowly maneuver around a police roadblock when Hall stepped in front of his car and shot him nine times.
Representing the Arboleda family in their civil suit against the town and Sheriff’s Office, attorney John Burris continued to press the position that Hall created the perception of threat by confronting Arboleda as he was attempting to flee police, firing even though he was not in any danger.
Attorney Harry Stern, however, said that the case against Hall was brought because of political reasons and not on the evidence, which clearly shows the deputy opening fire “in defense of his life.”
Hall is currently on paid administrative leave, free on $220,000 bail. He was 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 the Arboleda shooting.
The charges against him mark the first time in Contra Costa County history that criminal charges have been brought against a police officer involved in an on-duty shooting.
Hall is the same Danville police officer who subsequently 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, was reportedly throwing rocks at cars from a nearby overpass shortly before Hall confronted him.
Hall shot Wilson once in the head when he brandished a folding knife and stepped toward the officer. Wilson died at a local hospital days later.