A California police officer was sentenced Friday to six years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed mentally ill man during a slow-speed car chase in a wealthy San Francisco suburb.
An attorney for the man’s family called it “a watershed moment” and an example of progress being made in California and elsewhere in holding law enforcement accountable.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler said evidence showed that 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda was driving 6 mph (10kph) as he tried to evade Danville police officer Andrew Hall, who fired a barrage of bullets into him that violated his own training and put fellow officers in danger.
Hall made “extremely poor choices,” the judge said, and Arboleda did not deserve to die for evading an officer.
“While he may have violated the law, it was no law that carried a sentence of death for him,” the judge said.
The victim’s mother, Jeannie Atienza, said in statement that the sentence brings some closure to the family now that Hall has been held to some account.
They want Hall retried on the voluntary manslaughter charge that a jury deadlocked on in October. Jurors convicted Hall of assault with a firearm for the shooting.