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Tyrell Wilson dead: family of black man shot dead by northern California police officer initiates civil lawsuit

A video posted Tuesday by a family attorney shows the final seconds of Tyrell Wilson’s meeting with a police officer in Danville, Calif., On March 11.

Wilson was carrying a bag of groceries, walking alone through a street towards his homeless settlement, according to a statement from his family’s attorney John Burris.

According to the Danville Police Department, Constable Andrew Hall was responding to calls police had received regarding stones thrown from an overpass on Highway 680. When Hall arrived at the scene, he approached Wilson and tried to talk to him, but “subject withdrew. a folding knife, then opened it,” police said.

Hall ordered Wilson to drop the knife several times, but Wilson “walked over to the officer, who discharged his gun by hitting the subject once,” the police department said.

The police department also shared photos of Wilson holding a knife in his hand with the release. Video of the entire meeting has not been released.

It is not clear from the video if Wilson was holding a knife or if he stepped towards the officer.

Addressing the video in the complaint, Burris notes that “although (the knife) was still in Mr. Wilson’s possession at the time of the shooting, the video clearly shows that Mr. Wilson did not take any aggressive action in that time. of time. “

In a press release, Burris also said there was no evidence, “Wilson was involved in the stone throwing” and added that Wilson, who was “well known among daily commuters who all knew him as friendly and easy going “. The press release also notes that Wilson was homeless and had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenic.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Burris said they “did not see the knife in the video and witnesses did not see it.”

“My son was never, ever violent,” Wilson’s mother Diana said. “I haven’t seen the video, I don’t want to see the video. I want my final thoughts and photos of my son to be the handsome man he is.”

“I want the officer to come to some kind of justice because I don’t want another parent or father going through what we are going through now,” she added. “I think about my child, it makes me cry.”

Lee Housekeeper, a spokesperson for Burris, told CNN that the attorney’s office was filing a complaint last month when it found several eyewitnesses to the shooting who offered new information, including including the video.

“The video and testimony show this was a cold murder,” Burris said in a statement. “Wilson never had a chance.”

In an emailed statement to CNN, Hall’s attorney, Mike Rains, called the lawsuit “legal sham.”

Rains said he believes the Contra Costa County District Attorney “will undoubtedly carefully weigh the facts of this case, including video evidence Mr Burris has not seen, and applicable law, which allows peace officers to use lethal force when a suspect poses an imminent problem, threat of death or grievous bodily harm, and finds no basis to charge a felony. “

Scott Alonso, information officer at the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, said investigators were reviewing the incident and would later decide whether criminal charges are warranted. That decision has yet to be made, Alonso added. He explained that the district attorney’s office reviews any death in custody or by use of force.

Alonso was unable to comment on whether the new video had been given to them as evidence in the case.

Hall has been a police officer for more than seven years, according to a press release from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently on paid administrative leave in accordance with ministry policy, the statement said.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, alleges that no law enforcement officer treated Wilson’s injuries. Wilson was rushed to a local hospital after the shooting and died six days later on March 17, the complaint adds.

“This man is a threat, he has been a threat,” Burris said, referring to the officer.

Shawn Welch, president of the Contra Costa County Assistant Sheriffs Association, said “no action has been taken by the department regarding discipline or anything because the investigation is not complete . ”

The internal affairs investigation, to determine whether the officer followed the policy, would follow the district attorney’s review, according to Welch.

“It pretty much depends on what the DA’s office is doing right now,” Welch said.

The Danville Police Department and Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

CNN’s Peter Nickeas and Emma Tucker contributed to this report.


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