Video shows California sheriff’s deputy fatally shooting black man wielding knife on busy intersection
A white sheriff’s deputy in the US shot and killed a black man in the middle of a busy intersection about a minute after trying to stop him on suspicion of throwing rocks at cars last month, newly released video shows.
Graphic body camera footage showing Deputy Andrew Hall shooting Tyrell Wilson, 33, within seconds of asking him to drop a knife was released on Wednesday, the same day prosecutors charged Hall with manslaughter and assault over the fatal shooting of an unarmed Filipino man more than two years ago.
The charges came a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd, a black man whose death last May helped spark a national reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality.
The new video in the San Francisco Bay Area of California shows Hall calling out to Mr Wilson and walking towards him on March 11 as Mr Wilson walked away.
Mr Wilson eventually turns to face the deputy, holding a knife, and says: “Touch me and see what’s up.”
As they stand in the intersection, Hall asks him three times to drop the knife as Mr Wilson motions towards his face, saying: “Kill me.”
Hall shoots once, and Mr Wilson drops to the ground as drivers watch and record video.
The entire confrontation lasted about a minute.
A lawyer for Mr Wilson’s family released another video on Thursday taken by someone stopped at the intersection.
“It doesn’t seem like he was doing anything,” someone says.
After Hall shoots Mr Wilson, which can be clearly seen in the video, another person says: “Oh, my God. … This dude just got shot and killed, bro.”
Lawyer John Burris said Hall was unnecessarily aggressive towards Mr Wilson, who was not causing any problems and was backing away from the deputy before he was shot without warning.
“This is a homeless man, he’s walking away, minding his own business. He’s basically saying go away, leave me alone,” Mr Burris said.
“You felt compelled to kill him.”
Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston said the videos show Mr Wilson was threatening Hall and was possibly throwing rocks at drivers.
“He did threaten Officer Hall,” Mr Livingston said.
“And he did start advancing toward Officer Hall in the middle of a major intersection. Officers are forced to make split-second decisions to protect themselves and the public, and that’s what happened here.”
Hall worked for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, which was contracted by the city of Danville to provide policing services.
Prosecutors have faced intensifying outcry after Mr Wilson’s death, with critics saying they took too long to make a decision over the 2018 killing that Hall carried out.
The deputy shot 33-year-old Laudemar Arboleda nine times during a slow-moving car chase.
Mr Burris, who is also representing Mr Arboleda’s family, said that if prosecutors had acted more quickly in the Arboleda case, Mr Wilson might still be alive.
The lawyer said both men were mentally ill.
The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office said it charged Hall with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm over Mr Arboleda’s death.
“Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr Arboleda’s life but the lives of his fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area,” district attorney Diana Becton said in a news release.
Hall’s lawyer, Harry Stern, said prosecutors previously deemed the deputy’s use of force in the 2018 case justified, “given the fact that he was defending himself from a lethal threat. The timing of their sudden reversal in deciding to file charges seems suspect and overtly political”.
Deputies slowly pursued Mr Arboleda through the city of Danville after someone reported a suspicious person in November 2018.
Sheriff’s department video shows Hall stopping his patrol car, getting out and running towards the car driven by Mr Arboleda.
Hall opened fire and kept shooting as Mr Arboleda’s car passed by, striking him nine times.
He testified at an inquest that he was afraid Mr Arboleda would run him over.
The district attorney’s office said Mr Wilson’s shooting is being investigated.