What You Need To Know:
Video has been released showing Danville police officer Andrew Hall fatally shooting 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson, a Black man who was homeless and living near a public parking lot in the San Francisco, CA suburb. The video was obtained April 5 by the San Francisco Chronicle from an anonymous motorist who witnessed the March 11 shooting.
Danville police said Hall responded to reports of a person throwing rocks from the overpass onto a highway and arrived at the scene to see Wilson standing on the street. Hall gave commands for Wilson to drop a knife in his right hand. Photographs released by police showed Wilson holding a folding knife in his right hand. Police say Wilson advanced towards Hall, which prompted the officer to shoot at point-blank range.
However, the video never shows Wilson making any moves towards Hall as he clutched a bag in his left hand. Hall advances towards the man with a gun pointed while Wilson steps backwards. Hall shoots once and Wilson collapses.
Wilson died on March 17 at a local hospital from a gunshot wound to his face. “…The video confirmed to me that Wilson was not an aggressive person,” said civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Wilson’s family.
The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, which contracts to provide police services in Danville, is working with District Attorney Diana Becton to investigate the incident. “How can you possibly use that as evidence as anything?” said Hall’s attorney, Michael Rains, who claims the video is shaky, shot from an odd angle, and obscured by a road sign.
Alarmingly, this is Hall’s second fatal shooting as a Danville police officer. He is awaiting a charging decision in the 2018 killing of Laudemer Arboleda, a 33-year-old Latinx man who suffered from mental illness.
Wilson’s father’s voice broke as he spoke to a crowd of demonstrators outside the Danville Police Station March 28, saying, “A lot of this can be solved by de-escalation, and they’re not doing it.”
Hall remains on paid administrative leave and has requested a new assignment outside Danville, which is pending. Wilson was described as a good-hearted person without a home but was supported by family. He had just celebrated his birthday three days before the shooting.
Why We Need To Know:
The police department literally gave a killer free range to kill again, in a city that sees one homicide a year. Guess who’s committing them?