It’s not just San Francisco where law enforcement is unhappy with their DA, as the Contra Costa County Sheriff blasts his DA for pursuing (and winning) a conviction against a deputy in a fatal on-duty shooting.
In the modern era, the only Bay Area law enforcement officer who’s been found guilty and sentenced for an on-duty killing was Johannes Meserle’s involuntary manslaughter sentence in 2010 for killing Oscar Grant. (SF DA Chesa Boudin is trying, though that case remains unresolved.). But another officer was sentenced last Friday, when, as KPIX reported that now-former Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy Andrew Hall was sentenced to six years for the 2018 shooting of Laudemer Arboleda, who was mentally ill and unarmed.
It also so happens that Thursday, Contra Costa County agreed to pay a $4.5 million settlement to the family of a different person whom Hall shot and killed on the job. That’s on top of the $4.9 million settlement with Arboleda’s family awarded last October, totaling $9.4 million for one deputy’s trigger finger. So maybe hiring Andrew Hall as a deputy was not the most cost-effective move for Contra Costa County.
But don’t tell that to Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston, who KTVU reports sent an all-staff letter on the day of Hall’s sentencing, defiantly complaining that “Today is a sad day for the Sheriff's Office,” and that Hall had served with "honor and distinction."
"For our district attorney to charge a deputy sheriff, or any peace officer, for a crime based on a split-second tactical decision is abhorrent," Livingston wrote in the memo obtained by KTVU. “Despite these odd times, please remember I appreciate the work all of you do.”
The district attorney he is complaining about is Counta Costa County DA Diana Becton, who is a Black woman, running for reelection, and has a platform of “Holding Law Enforcement and Public Officials Accountable.” Which tells us that it's not just a San Francisco thing that law enforcement gets up in arms when officers are prosecuted for on-duty violence and alleged misconduct.
Image: @CoCoSheriff via Twitter