A Contra Costa deputy sheriff who shot and killed an unarmed man during a slow-speed pursuit in 2018 was charged with homicide Wednesday by District Attorney Diana Becton, who recently closed a nearly three-year investigation into the killing.
Deputy Andrew Hall was charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter and one count of assault with a semi-automatic weapon that led to the death of 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda, Becton said during a press conference. Hall shot Arboleda nine times on Nov. 18 while Arboleda was driving. Each charge carries an enhancement alleging Hall personally used a firearm and the assault charge carries an enhancement for allegations that the officer caused great bodily injury to Arboleda. If convicted, the officer could face up to 22 years in prison.
This is the first time in recent history that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against an officer for killing someone while on duty. The same officer was also involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man in Danville last month. The charges in the Arboleda killing were filed a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd by using excessive force to pin Floyd’s neck under his knee for nine minutes, choking him to death last May. Becton calls the timing of the charges of the Contra Costa deputy a “mere coincidence.”
“Officer Hall used unnecessary and unreasonable force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr. Arboleda’s, life but the lives of fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area,” Becton said during a press conference.
Arboleda was killed during a pursuit in November 2018 after nearby residents had reported him acting suspiciously. According to Becton’s outline of the case, officers responded to reports of a man who was ringing doorbells and lingering in a Danville neighborhood. Officers encountered Arboleda, who led them on a nine-minute pursuit, never exceeding 50 mph.
After setting up a police barricade, Becton said Hall ran around the rear of his vehicle and fired his semi-automatic pistol at Arboleda, hitting him nine times. The district attorney said Hall “killed without lawful excuse or justification” and put the public and other officers in serious danger.
“We in law enforcement must conduct ourselves in a professional and lawful manner when interacting with the public,” Becton said. “Officer Hall’s actions underscore the need for a continued focus on de-escalation training and improved coordinated responses to individuals that are suffering from mental illness.”
A warrant was issued for Hall’s arrest. An arraignment date has not yet been set.
The case is People v. Andrew Hall, No. 01-195930-3, in Contra Costa County Superior Court in the state of California.