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
Woman Unarmed When Killed
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.