Officer won’t face charges in killing mentally ill Black man

Oct 28, 2022, 1:13 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former police officer already imprisoned for one fatal shooting in a wealthy San Francisco suburb won’t face criminal charges in a second slaying, this one of a homeless Black man who asked the officer to kill him during a 30-second confrontation, a prosecutor said Friday.

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton said she won’t seek to try former Danville officer Andrew Hall in the death of Tyrell Wilson, who was holding a knife at the time of their confrontation in March 2021.

Hall already is serving a six-year prison sentence in the fatal shooting in 2018 of Laudemer Arboleda, 32, during a slow-speed police chase. Hall was convicted last year of assault with a firearm for firing into Arboleda’s vehicle as it passed by him. Arboleda, who was unarmed and mentally ill, was hit by nine bullets as he drove away from police.

Becton said she did not have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Hall, 33, acted illegally when he killed Wilson last year while responding to reports of a person throwing rocks from an overpass onto a highway.

She called it “a difficult and challenging case” and that she and her legal team “spent a considerable amount of time and resources evaluating the evidence before coming to this conclusion.”

“As a community, we need to find ways to de-escalate law enforcement encounters where the use of force leads to tragic outcomes,” she said in a statement. “The loss of Tyrell Wilson’s life weighs on our community and I express my deepest condolences to the Wilson family.”

An attorney for Hall, Mike Rains, praised Becton for “what appears to be a very lengthy, serious and considered look at the facts” that he said ultimately revealed “a tragic situation” where Hall had to defend himself from a man approaching with a knife.

“Deputy Hall tried to avoid the need to use lethal force” by repeatedly telling Wilson to drop the blade, Rains said in a statement.

“I understand the times that we are in and I commend (Becton) for resisting that pressure and making the right decision,” Rains said.

Becton has been criticized for taking two years to investigate Arboleda’s death, leaving Hall on duty long enough to be involved in the second fatal shooting. Becton filed the charges one day after a jury convicted Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd.

Had she charged Hall more quickly in the earlier shooting, “this never would have happened,” said John Burris, an attorney for Wilson’s family. “This young man would not have been killed.”

Critics have also questioned whether race played a factor: Hall is white, Wilson is Black, and Arboleda of Filipino descent. Danville is a town of multimillion-dollar homes and predominantly white residents.

Video taken by a nearby motorist showed Hall standing feet away and facing Wilson before the officer appeared to move toward Wilson, as Wilson appeared to step backward. The motorist’s video doesn’t appear to show Wilson make any sudden moves toward Hall.

Becton’s office said that before the shooting Wilson told Hall not to touch him, then took a folding knife from his jacket and held it by his right thigh, the blade pointing forward. He took five steps away from Hall while saying twice, “Touch me and see what’s up.”

Hall drew his gun and pointed it at Wilson, telling him to drop the knife three times. Wilson then took two to three steps toward Hall, raised the knife to his chest, looked up at the sky and said “Kill me,” according to the report by Becton’s office.

Hall took about three steps backward and shot Wilson once in the head, firing just 32 seconds after he first spoke to Wilson. Wilson died at a hospital two days later.

Police previously released still photographs showing Wilson holding a bag in his left hand and a folding knife in his right hand.

A juror could reasonably conclude that Hall was in imminent danger, particularly if Wilson was “potentially engaging in ‘suicide by cop,'” Becton’s report concluded.

Burris said in his view “there was sufficient evidence to justify prosecution here.”

Wilson suffered from schizophrenia and Burris said he was obviously mentally impaired when Hall approached him.

“That should have been a clue right then that there was something going on with this young man,” Burris said.

“But the officer didn’t back up and reassess. He became very aggressive,” Burris said. “The officer created this confrontation.”

He said the family could ask the state attorney general or U.S. attorney to review the case, noting that California law requires that police killings not only be reasonable, but necessary. Wilson’s death doesn’t appear necessary, given the circumstances, Burris said.

Becton charged Hall with manslaughter and assault in Arboleda’s death a month after he fatally shot Wilson, but a jury deadlocked on the voluntary manslaughter count while convicting him of assault.

Hall is serving his six-year sentence at nearby San Quentin State Prison.

The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office provides police officers to Danville under a contract, and the county has paid more than $9 million to the families of the two slain men to settle civil rights lawsuits. The sheriff’s office had cleared Hall of misconduct into Arboleda’s death after its own nine-month investigation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

1 day ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

1 day ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Officer won’t face charges in killing mentally ill Black man