After more than a year, an investigatory video depicting Danville’s first fatal police shooting in more than 17 has been released to the public.
The video shows Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Hall shooting 33-year-old Newark resident Laudemer Arboleda to death at close range, while Arboleda was attempting to evade police in his car near downtown Danville on Nov. 3, 2018.
The 24-second video -- two snippets of footage captured by both Hall’s body camera and a second officer’s dashboard camera -- depicts Danville police attempting to box in Arboleda’s vehicle at the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road, briefly stopping Arboleda. (The sheriff’s office provides police services for the town of Danville by contract.)
When Arboleda attempted to drive around and through the blockade, Hall can be seen exiting his cruiser and running toward a gap in two police cars where the Newark man was attempting to drive away, according to the video.
When the vehicle was only a few feet away, Hall began to backpedal away and fired approximately 10 shots into the vehicle as it drove toward and then by him, according to the video. Arboleda was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that morning.
Hall’s body cam footage does not show Hall using verbal commands at Arboleda immediately before or during the time of the shooting.
The video was obtained by the news coalition California Reporting Project last week in response to a public records act request, according to Bay City News Service. Viewer discretion is advised as the video obviously contains graphic imagery and is available online now.
The town has since been presented with a wrongful-death claim by Arboleda’s family, who say that not only did police follow the 33-year-old without justification, but that Hall fired upon him unnecessarily as he attempted to slowly drive past officers.
The claim -- which was submitted by the Law Offices of John L. Burris -- further alleges that Arboleda’s skin color may have factored into Hall’s decision to use lethal force. Arboleda was of Filipino descent.
In a statement released shortly after the claim was filed, Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston defended the deputy, saying the case involved “a dangerous and reckless person trying to run down and murder a police officer.”
Police officials reported at the time that on the day of the shooting, the department received a call from a resident reporting that a suspicious man -- who was later identified as Arboleda -- was seen walking around a neighborhood with bags in hand.
Police say Arboleda immediately tried to flee toward downtown after police made contact and in the ensuing pursuit pulled over twice as if he was going to surrender, but proceeded to drive away when officers got out of their vehicles, ignoring officers commands to stop.
This marked the town’s first officer-involved shooting since 2001, according to Danville officials.