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Friday, February 24, 2017

City of Emeryville Attempts to Derail Civil Case in Yuvette Henderson Shooting

Summary Judgement Sought by Police 
in Wrongful Death Civil Case

Lurid, Grisly Courtroom Details From High Powered 
Police AR-15 Fire

Police Shooting "Illegal" Says Attorney
Woman Unarmed When Killed

Details of the killing of Yuvette Henderson by Emeryville police in 2015 were finally publicly revealed in a packed courtroom as Dan Siegel, an attorney retained by the Henderson family laid out the grisly last moments of the Oakland woman's life as part of a wrongful death civil case heard at the District Federal Court in Oakland Thursday.  Attorneys hired by the City of Emeryville, who contend Ms Henderson pointed a gun at the police and so were within their rights to kill the woman, attempted to stop the case in the hearing with a hoped for a summary judgment that will be decided by Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu on March 28th.
Mr Siegal showed forensic evidence that puts the Emeryville Police Department's claim that the woman "drew down" on one officer into question and further showed the last shots fired, including the kill shot by the police at the African American woman, were done after she had been incapacitated and unarmed.

Dan Siegel, the plaintiff's attorney in the emerging civil case said Ms Henderson may have had a gun but he noted that is immaterial to the illegal killing of her.  He testified that witnesses and a nearby security camera reveal there were three distinct volleys of fire from the Emeryville police officers on Ms Henderson.  Forensic evidence was presented that determined Ms Henderson was struck in the side of her chest on February 3rd, 2015 with a round from the police AR-15 rifle in volley two that passed through her right arm, shattering it and causing her gun to fly back at least six feet behind her.  After a pause, as Ms Henderson lay on the ground severely wounded and disarmed, is when the EPD officer with the assault rifle fired the kill shot from his assault rifle as part of volley three, striking Ms Henderson in the head as she attempted to lift her head Mr Siegel testified.

The police contend Ms Henderson had been involved in a shoplifting at Home Depot and she walked several blocks south to just inside Oakland on Hollis Street when they arrived at the scene. Officers maintain Ms Henderson was waiving the gun all around wildly when they got there.  They opened fire after yelling for Ms Henderson to drop her weapon.  She was not struck in volley one but after a pause she was shot in volley two when she faced one of the officers with the AR-15 and "drew down" on him with a pistol police said, regardless of the fact that she was struck in her side with the AR-15 round in the barrage of fire.  The other officer at the scene had a service revolver and was not successful in hitting Ms Henderson.  The police version of the 'draw down' was not corroborated by a witness questioned after the shooting.  The officers say they were fearful for their lives as a result of the gun in her possession.  After Ms Henderson was injured and on the ground they maintain she was attempting to get back up in order to rearm herself.  The video reveals the police did not yell out for the woman to stay down before they killed her.
The Emeryville Police Department admits Ms Henderson did not fire the revolver at their officers or anyone else at any time during the melee.  The two officers involved in the shooting had body-worn cameras but they were turned off according to the police.
Mr Siegel said there was testimony from the police taken after the shooting that changed after the existence of the security video was announced some days after the shooting took place.  Some of their testimony is contradicted by the video he said.

At a large gathering outside the Federal Courthouse on Clay Street after the hearing 11 AM, exiting courtroom attendees told the Tattler if Judge Ryu allows the case to go forward, the City of Emeryville will be forced to pay restitution to the family of Yuvette Henderson, an eventuality many gathered in solidarity with the Hendersons think likely.

There has been public outcry after the killing of Ms Henderson over the fact that the Emeryville police now routinely carry the high powered military style AR-15 rifle.  The killing of Yuvette Henderson is the first shooting by Emeryville police with their newly issued AR-15 rifles.  Colt AR-15 rifles have been determined to be assault rifles by the State of California and they have been banned for civilians.  The Chief of Police for the City of Emeryville says the State of California is wrong and the Colt AR-15 rifles Emeryville police carry are not assault rifles but rather simple sporting rifles as the NRA says.




18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Holy cow! I spelled it summery. As in a judgement in the summer. Thanks for correcting the embarrassing typo Terry. Now I'm wondering why I pay my copy editor so much!

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  2. Leave it to a lawyer to reach the conclusion that the police shouldn't be able to neutralize a life threatening move from someone who is pointing a gun at them. Cops have to wait until they are shot before they can fire back? Ridiculous. This was as justified a shooting as there ever was.

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    1. "Neutralize"? Don't you mean kill? Why use a euphemism if what the police did was so wonderful? And just so everyone understands Mr Anonymous, you say it's justifiable for the government to take somebody's life that's unarmed. Does that standard of yours hold true for your mother or sister or aunt or wife?

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    2. And leave it to the tattler to jump to the defense of a gun-weilding criminal due to the story not being corroborated by a witness. I guess the tattler still believes the "hands up don't shoot" witnesses in the Mike Brown case.

      Regardless, this particular gun-weilding criminal will never again pose a threat to me, my family, or anyone else in emeryville.

      Thank you EPD for your willingness to out your lives on the line in defense of others.

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    3. The Tattler 'still believes' in an independent judiciary and that murder is illegal, regardless who commits it (even forces from the government). The Tattler also 'still believes' if something is taken away from you without legal justification, then you are entitled to restitution, even if it is the government that's doing the taking.

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    4. Leave it Anonymous (posts on Feb. 26) who believes that the police have the right to kill anyone they please. The victim was not a "criminal," since she had never been convicted of a crime. By the way, you mispelled wielding, twice. I'm more worried about the police violating citizen's civil rights, as should you. I'm sure your argument would be different if your family member was the one killed. Another thing, I have family members who are police officers. Thank you.

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  3. Yet another day in Trump's America. Nothing to see here.

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    1. This happened under Obama's America, I hope and pray Trump will help the inner city's as he has promised. Also, Brian, your previous article indicated that by using a singular descriptor of a criminal person as being "African American or Black" is racist. Why is it ok when you do it? And, if you'd care to comment about the race, ethnicity and gender's of the officer's involved.

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    2. It's a waste of my time to explain racism to white adult men who see a post racial America; incapable of seeing past their white privilege. Sometimes I get a few chuckles interacting with you guys but I've already had my laughs for today. I don't think you're smart enough...stop reading the Tattler and start reading the E'Ville Eye.

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  4. This story is just another day in the Tattler's Emeryville. Another story from the most biased anti-cop cesspool in town. We know you hate cops Brian and your entitled to spout that like you do but you don't know what your talking about when you start flapping your gums about AR's. The gun is NOT an assault rifle.

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    1. That's funny, I thought I didn't hate cops... but since you know more than me about me, go ahead, tell me more. What's my REAL favorite color?

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  5. "Unarmed" or "Disarmed"? Please correct this or issue a retraction. VERY Sloppy but I guess that's kind of what we come to expect from you.

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    1. Where do you see the need for a retraction? As far as the law goes and as Mr Siegel told the Judge, Ms Henderson was unarmed when she was killed and the police knew it. If she was armed at some point before volley three, that's rendered immaterial by the fact she can't reach her gun. So for purposes of this case, she was unarmed when the police took her life. Believe it or not but police are not allowed to shoot someone they know not to be armed. Because she became disarmed in volley two doesn't give the police the right to shoot her because at that point she is unarmed. You (or even police) can't take away someone's gun and then kill her in America.

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  6. "The other officer at the scene had a service revolver....." Pretty sure they carry semi-auto pistols as their sidearm, not service revolvers. She initially posed a threat to the community and the officers so the first 2 volleys were justified. She then attempted to get up at which point she is still considered a threat. She could have been going for the weapon she dropped or maybe the police were thinking she had another weapon and was not yet incapacitated? Either way, she had displayed dangerous behavior and the Police were justified in firing their weapons until the threat was neutralized. The fact that the other officer was unable to hit the target with a pistol just strengthens the argument that the police should carry the rifles as they are much more accurate at distance. My thoughts anyway. We'll see what happens in court, or maybe not depending on the outcome of the Judges decision.

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    1. If you ever need help staying off jury duty let me know. I'll do anything I can to help you out.

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    2. Why are these assumptions and conjecture any more worthy of ridicule than your own? Because it contradicts an attorneys statement? Why do you believe the family's attorney over the officers statements? Have you seen the videos? Can you agree that prejudging based on lawyers or witness statements should be avoided?

      Maybe you should be kept off juries too brian.

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    3. Racism IS going to be brought up for ridicule at the Tattler, sorry man. If you re-read the story you'll note nowhere do I say the police murdered Ms Henderson. I did report on what the attorney hired by her family said though. If you want to take issue with that maybe you should hire your own attorney.
      I don't believe in the trial by jury system. Ask any black person during the Jim Crow years in the south how well it worked out for them....is justice served by it? It still goes on. There is an outlet that can help serve up some kind of justice here in America though: jury nullification. It can serve as a check on a classist and racist society (but you've got to get peers or fellow travelers on juries).
      Were you aware the Emeryville police themselves investigated whether or not they were guilty of misconduct? Their findings of NO were instrumental in the case not going to criminal trial. Think there's much deference to law enforcement in our justice system?
      It's very possible the people of Emeryville will have to pay a lot of money to settle this case....and that will serve as some kind of justice if it comes to pass. If that does come to pass, remember that next time you pay your taxes and distribute your anger appropriately. And if I may ask, where would that be for you?

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