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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Emeryville Loses Summary Judgment in Yuvette Henderson Case

Judge Says Reasonable Person Could Surmise Police Used Excessive Force in Shooting

Federal Judge Donna Ryu ruled earlier this week against the City of Emeryville's request for a summary judgment in the civil wrongful death case brought by the family of Yuvette Henderson who was shot and killed by an Emeryville police officer in 2015, an action that will either bring a trial or a settlement.  In a sharply worded 20 page ruling, Judge Ryu threw out the request brought by the police to dismiss the case based on an internal EPD investigation in 2016 that cleared the police of any wrongdoing.

Federal Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu
Yuvette Henderson was "six feet away from her gun" 
and "turned away from it" when the 
Emeryville police officer fired the kill shot.
Judge Ryu noted a jury could plausibly decide Yuvette Henderson was wrongly killed because "Henderson did not pose an immediate threat to [the police officers] and because she was unarmed and wounded and because although she carried a gun, she had not previously fired or aimed at [the officers]."  The Judge added it is plausible a jury could reasonably decide the Emeryville police use of lethal force was "unreasonable and excessive" and that the officers had "several reasonable alternatives to lethal force."  Additionally, Judge Ryu noted forensic evidence and witness accounts contradicting the police version of events could plausibly sway a jury.
The Emeryville Police Department's 'not guilty' conclusion arrived after the investigation conducted by the police against itself wrought the civil case brought by the Henderson family, a criminal conviction having been precluded.
As a result of Judge Ryu's ruling, the case will now either go to trial or it will be settled and that decision will be made on March 28th.
An Emeryville taxpayer funded compensation looms as a likely scenario, attorneys following the case told the Tattler Monday.
Public interest in the Yuvette Henderson case
has not waned since the 2015 shooting.  A
large crowd waited for entry into Judge Ryu's
 courtroom for the summary judgment hearing
last month.


  1. This judge is totally biased. How can she know the crazy lady didn't point her gun at the police? They say she did point it at them. Looks like there's going to be a miscariage of justice.

    1. It sounds like reading isn't one of your core strengths...

  2. Couldn't the Tattler (as well as E'ville Eye) refuse to print comments signed "Anonymous" so that the submitter had to stand by the courage of his/her convictions and stand up personally? So often it seems that "Anonymous" submits opinions of one mind and one hand trying to give the impression of plurality.

    Bob Hughes

    1. I can't speak for the E'Ville Eye on his comment policy (he censors comments). At the Tattler, I decided years ago to allow anonymous comments because I thought it would encourage participation even as I agree that the resultant input has been generally dubious. I do think it has more value than zero though. The anonymous comment history has been speckled. It has been used quite a bit by right wing kooks as a place to vent. It's also been used legitimately by exposed people who are afraid of repercussions from the power elite.
      To those who don't see any value in the anonymous commenters, I suggest ignoring them.