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Demonstrators call on Contra Costa County Sheriff Livingston to step down

Arboleda's family criticizes sheriff for overt defense of deputy convicted in fatal shooting in Danville

Angelo Quinto's sister, Bella Quinto Collins and his mother, Cassandra Quinto-Collins speak at a protest at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office March 29. Angelo Quinto died three days after police restrained him in his family's Antioch home. (Photo by Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

More than a dozen activists and family members of those who have died in police custody demonstrated outside of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office in Martinez on Tuesday morning, calling on Sheriff David Livingston to resign.

The group takes issue with an email Livingston sent his department after the March 3 sentencing of sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall, who received a six-year-prison sentence after being convicted of assault with a firearm in the 2018 killing of unarmed motorist Laudemer Arboleda in Danville.

Kathryn Wade, mother of Malad Baldwin, hugs Patricia Granados after speaking to families of Laudemer Arboleda, Angelo Quinto and community members during a protest on March 29. (Photo by Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

It was the first conviction of a police officer for a gun-related crime in county history.

Livingston wrote Hall "served with honor and distinction," and "After an extensive internal investigation, he was found to be within departmental policy when he was forced to use deadly force to protect himself and others on that fateful day. I was proud to support him publicly and privately after the events of November 3, 2018, and I support him today."

"For our district attorney to charge a deputy sheriff, or any peace officer, for a crime based on a split-second tactical decision is abhorrent," Livingston wrote. "It is even more abhorrent for that same district attorney to later repost photos on her reelection campaign social media that show her smiling and proclaiming that she 'charged the officer.'"

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Jennifer Leong, Arboleda's sister, said among the statements in Livingston's email with which her family took issue was Livingston saying Hall's conviction was a "sad day."

"It's not a sad day," Leong said. "It was a sad day when my brother was killed, Laudemer Arboleda. It was a sad day when Tyrell Wilson was killed. And it's a sad day that the other families that loved ones have been taken away have not had any justice in our system."

Hall also shot and killed Tyrell Wilson in March 2021, after being dispatched to the Sycamore Valley Road overcrossing of Interstate 680 for reports of a man throwing rocks onto the freeway. The men approached one another in the intersection and Hall, after telling Wilson to drop a pocket knife he was holding, shot Wilson.

The county has paid a total of $9.4 million in settlement money to both families, even though the second killing is still being investigated.

"We believed in the system. And another person, Tyrell Wilson, was killed," Leong said. "So for Sheriff Livingston to say it was a sad day, to me, to my mother, to our family, that is disgusting. That is almost like a form of bullying. We are outraged. We want Sheriff Livingston to resign, we want him recalled. He cannot lead this community."

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Hall shot and killed 33-year-old Arboleda at the end of a slow-speed police pursuit in Danville on Nov, 3, 2018. He shot him nine times as the Newark man pulled away at 6 mph.

Officers trailed Arboleda after someone called police to report Arboleda knocked on their door. Arboleda, whose family said he was hospitalized earlier that year for mental illness, pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, officers drew their guns without shooting as Arboleda drove away.

Gigi Crowder, executive director at NAMI Contra Costa, attends a protest at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office on March 29. Families of Laudemer Arboleda and Angelo Quinto and community members are asking for an apology or resignation of Sheriff David Livingston. (Photo by Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

Hall was only involved at the very end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda's front right side. As Arboleda tried pulling away, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hall's lawyers said the officer was only trying to protect himself from an oncoming vehicle, though video shows that many of the shots came from the vehicle's passenger side as Arboleda tried driving away. The car ended up crossing Diablo Road and colliding with an oncoming car.

Livingston's email got the attention of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, which asked the county Board of Supervisors to audit the disciplinary practices in Livingston's department.

Livingston responded in an email, saying "The so-called 'Prosecutors Alliance' committee is made up of only four of the 58 DAs in the state. Contra Costa is not San Francisco or Los Angeles where two of their far-leftwing founding members serve. Instead of playing politics here, they should do their job and prosecute offenders and start caring about crime victims for once."

Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston. (Photo courtesy of CCCSO)

Demonstrators also said it's time for the Sheriff's Office investigation into Hall's shooting of Wilson to reach some conclusions.

Bella Quinto Collins is the sister of Angelo Quinto, who died in Antioch police custody in December 2020 after his family said an officer knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes. Quinto's death was later ruled an accident during a coroner's inquest.

Collins said it's time to separate the powers of county sheriff and county coroner, both of which are held by the same person in Contra Costa. Quinto's family is helping push a proposal in the state Assembly -- AB1608 -- to separate the posts. California is one of only three states to allow the jobs to be combined.

"(Livingston's email) is an example of the absolute necessity for a law like this, for the separation of these entities so that we can have an unbiased medical process along with the investigation of, especially law-enforcement-involved deaths," Collins said.

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Demonstrators call on Contra Costa County Sheriff Livingston to step down

Arboleda's family criticizes sheriff for overt defense of deputy convicted in fatal shooting in Danville

by Tony Hicks / BCN Foundation /

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:04 pm
Updated: Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 10:19 pm

More than a dozen activists and family members of those who have died in police custody demonstrated outside of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office in Martinez on Tuesday morning, calling on Sheriff David Livingston to resign.

The group takes issue with an email Livingston sent his department after the March 3 sentencing of sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall, who received a six-year-prison sentence after being convicted of assault with a firearm in the 2018 killing of unarmed motorist Laudemer Arboleda in Danville.

It was the first conviction of a police officer for a gun-related crime in county history.

Livingston wrote Hall "served with honor and distinction," and "After an extensive internal investigation, he was found to be within departmental policy when he was forced to use deadly force to protect himself and others on that fateful day. I was proud to support him publicly and privately after the events of November 3, 2018, and I support him today."

"For our district attorney to charge a deputy sheriff, or any peace officer, for a crime based on a split-second tactical decision is abhorrent," Livingston wrote. "It is even more abhorrent for that same district attorney to later repost photos on her reelection campaign social media that show her smiling and proclaiming that she 'charged the officer.'"

Jennifer Leong, Arboleda's sister, said among the statements in Livingston's email with which her family took issue was Livingston saying Hall's conviction was a "sad day."

"It's not a sad day," Leong said. "It was a sad day when my brother was killed, Laudemer Arboleda. It was a sad day when Tyrell Wilson was killed. And it's a sad day that the other families that loved ones have been taken away have not had any justice in our system."

Hall also shot and killed Tyrell Wilson in March 2021, after being dispatched to the Sycamore Valley Road overcrossing of Interstate 680 for reports of a man throwing rocks onto the freeway. The men approached one another in the intersection and Hall, after telling Wilson to drop a pocket knife he was holding, shot Wilson.

The county has paid a total of $9.4 million in settlement money to both families, even though the second killing is still being investigated.

"We believed in the system. And another person, Tyrell Wilson, was killed," Leong said. "So for Sheriff Livingston to say it was a sad day, to me, to my mother, to our family, that is disgusting. That is almost like a form of bullying. We are outraged. We want Sheriff Livingston to resign, we want him recalled. He cannot lead this community."

Hall shot and killed 33-year-old Arboleda at the end of a slow-speed police pursuit in Danville on Nov, 3, 2018. He shot him nine times as the Newark man pulled away at 6 mph.

Officers trailed Arboleda after someone called police to report Arboleda knocked on their door. Arboleda, whose family said he was hospitalized earlier that year for mental illness, pulled over multiple times, only to drive away from police. At one point, officers drew their guns without shooting as Arboleda drove away.

Hall was only involved at the very end, when he pulled in front of Arboleda at the corner of Front and Diablo streets. He exited his car and stood near the Honda's front right side. As Arboleda tried pulling away, Hall discharged his weapon 10 times, hitting Arboleda with nine bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hall's lawyers said the officer was only trying to protect himself from an oncoming vehicle, though video shows that many of the shots came from the vehicle's passenger side as Arboleda tried driving away. The car ended up crossing Diablo Road and colliding with an oncoming car.

Livingston's email got the attention of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, which asked the county Board of Supervisors to audit the disciplinary practices in Livingston's department.

Livingston responded in an email, saying "The so-called 'Prosecutors Alliance' committee is made up of only four of the 58 DAs in the state. Contra Costa is not San Francisco or Los Angeles where two of their far-leftwing founding members serve. Instead of playing politics here, they should do their job and prosecute offenders and start caring about crime victims for once."

Demonstrators also said it's time for the Sheriff's Office investigation into Hall's shooting of Wilson to reach some conclusions.

Bella Quinto Collins is the sister of Angelo Quinto, who died in Antioch police custody in December 2020 after his family said an officer knelt on his neck for nearly five minutes. Quinto's death was later ruled an accident during a coroner's inquest.

Collins said it's time to separate the powers of county sheriff and county coroner, both of which are held by the same person in Contra Costa. Quinto's family is helping push a proposal in the state Assembly -- AB1608 -- to separate the posts. California is one of only three states to allow the jobs to be combined.

"(Livingston's email) is an example of the absolute necessity for a law like this, for the separation of these entities so that we can have an unbiased medical process along with the investigation of, especially law-enforcement-involved deaths," Collins said.

Comments

Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Mar 31, 2022 at 10:09 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2022 at 10:09 am

This should be reason enough to recall the Sheriff:

Livingston wrote Hall "served with honor and distinction," and "After an extensive internal investigation, he was found to be within departmental policy when he was forced to use deadly force to protect himself and others on that fateful day. I was proud to support him publicly and privately after the events of November 3, 2018, and I support him today."

No one wants any law enforcement officer to be injured in the line of duty! That said, the Sheriff's Department's "Use of Force" protocols are clearly wrong if they justify what Hall did. You have to really "reach" in these two instances to believe these two unarmed citizens were a real threat to either Hall or any nearby citizen. It is time for the Sheriff to be relieved of his job. He has violated the trust of the people he was supposed to serve in favor of an "officer" he allowed back on the street after the first man was killed. For that reason alone, he should be recalled.
Furthermore, it is really time for Danville, and other "contract cities," to step up and move away from the Sheriff's Department and run their own police departments.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on Apr 2, 2022 at 9:53 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2022 at 9:53 pm

Certain folk claim that replacing a sheriff’s department with a police department is the antidote for better policing. Oh?

In what way? According to the I’ll informed, police departments must somehow be immune from controversy. Really? I can cite case after case of police departments in the Bay Area having bad apples. Look no farther than the current investigations going on in the Antioch and Pittsburg police departments regarding illegal drugs.

If the I’ll informed had experience in law enforcement, he might be able to explain the differences between a police department and sheriff’s department. But since the ill informed has not, his point is moot based entirely on the fact he can’t explain the differences.

One thing is certain: ALL sworn law enforcement personnel in the state of California must have graduated from a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) academy. And by the way, California’s standards for peace officers is much more rigorous than most states.




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