A civil rights attorney recently announced he plans to file a federal lawsuit after a recently released bystander video appeared to depict a California police officer approaching a homeless man before fatally shooting the victim in the face. Although the officer’s report claimed that the homeless man charged at him with a knife, the video clearly shows the victim backing away from the cop before he was shot.
On March 11, in Danville, California, Police Officer Andrew Hall responded to calls of a man standing on the overpass and throwing rocks onto Interstate 680 traffic. According to the officer’s statement, a homeless man identified as Tyrell Wilson pulled out a folding knife and opened it after Hall approached him and attempted to speak with him.
“The officer ordered him to drop the knife several times,” the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department said in a statement hours after the shooting. “(Wilson) then advanced toward the officer, who discharged his weapon, striking the subject once.”
But according to a newly released bystander video, Wilson could be seen holding a bag in one hand while slowly backing away from the police officer. Instead of Wilson charging at Officer Hall, the police officer was clearly walking towards Wilson when he abruptly shot the mentally ill homeless man who suffered from schizophrenia.
Hall did not appear to be in distress during the shooting or afterward as he calmly stood over Wilson’s motionless body. Six days later, Wilson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
According to Wilson’s family attorney John Burris, Wilson had been fatally shot in the face. Burris said in a statement, “The video and witness accounts show this was a cold murder. Wilson never had a chance.”
Burris announced that he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the city of Danville and the police department for violating Wilson’s civil rights by killing him without justifiable cause. Hall remains on paid administrative leave.
On November 3, 2018, Hall fatally shot Laudemer Arboleda during a car chase. In the video of the pursuit, Hall does not appear to be in imminent danger and never issues any warnings before repeatedly firing into Arboleda’s vehicle.
Although Hall was cleared by an internal probe from the sheriff’s office, the Arboleda shooting is still under investigation by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.