A jury in Contra Costa County is set to decide if a police officer in the East Bay acted in self-defense or if he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Back in 2018, Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall shot and killed Laudemer Arboleda who was driving away from police at the time of the shooting.
Officer Hall also made headlines this past March when he shot and killed a homeless man who was holding a knife – and again claimed he shot in self-defense.
A video was shown to a jury of 12 in a Martinez courtroom Monday, who will be dissecting it frame by frame.
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It shows the moments that led up to the deadly shooting of the driver of this silver Honda Civic, 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda. Hall says he acted in self-defense when Arboleda refused to stop the car, but prosecutors say Arboleda was maneuvering his car away from police and say Hall acted unreasonably when he fired 10 shots, killing Arboleda.
His attorney, Harry Stern said he, “Feels like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He feels bad about what happened and so there are a lot of emotions.
While he stands trial for involuntary manslaughter, Hall is on paid administrative leave. During Monday's opening statement, the prosecutor told the jury that Arboleda, who lived in Newark with his mother, was suffering from mental illness.
Arboleda had no criminal history prior to the chase that ended in him being shot.
“I think it's wonderful that Diana Becton, our DA has had the courage to charge in this case,” said Veronica Benjamin.
The Danville resident started the non-profit, Conscious Contra Costa, to demand police accountability.
“We just want to show that even though we live in this very wealthy white suburban area, we still want police accountability, we still demand that, we want this to be a safe and welcoming county for all residents.”
Back in March of this year, Officer Hall made headlines again, after he shot and killed a 33-year-old homeless man named Tyrell Wilson, who suffered from mental health issues and pulled out a folding knife. Hall claimed self-defense again.
“Lo and behold, March 2021, he kills again,” said Benjamin. “Tyrell Wilson’s death was wholly preventable.”
His attorney said, “our response is going to be measured and based on science and the facts of the case.”
If convicted of the two charges, the other being assault with a firearm, Hall could face up to 22 years behind bars.