Danville, CA

Police-Involved Death of Tyrell Wilson in Danville Prompts Investigations, Protests

Thomas Smith

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(Courtesy Gado Images)

On March 11, 2021, Danville, California police reportedly responded to calls about a man throwing rocks off a freeway overpass onto the 680 Freeway. When police approached the man, later identified as Tyrell Wilson, he allegedly took out a folding knife and threatened the police officer responding.

When Wilson allegedly refused to put away his knife, the responding officer Andrew Hall reportedly discharged his firearm, striking Wilson. Wilson was transported to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The incident is now reportedly the subject of a lawsuit and investigation, as well as several protests. Wilson was African-American, and some involved have reportedly questioned the series of events, as well as the decision to use deadly force.

The incident occurred on the Sycamore Valley Road overpass. Following the incident, several police vehicles blocked off the overpass, as an investigation occurred. Investigations are reportedly a standard procedure after any officer-involved shooting incident in Contra Costa County.

As helicopters circled overhead, at least three marked police vehicles and possibly an unmarked white police white blocked the San Ramon Valley Boulevard side of the Sycamore Valley road overpass. An additional police vehicle blocked the onramp leading to the overpass, and a small lineup of cars had accumulated.

Several of the vehicles has their emergency lights illuminated, the overpass was blocked to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. At least two service vehicles appeared to be present as well. Barricades and police tape were also present, blocking off the overpass, presumably while police or other agencies investigated the incident and gathered evidence.

At least one news camera also appeared to be present during the aftermath of the incident, as a person was visible operating a large camera on a tripod. This was located just outside the police barricades, at the intersection of San Ramon Valley Blvd and Sycamore Valley Road.

The overpass appears to have been closed for several hours while the investigation was underway. The incident was still under investigation as of March 29, 2021. Protests have reportedly occurred in the Danville, California area, as some have reportedly questioned the sequence of events described.

According to the East Bay Times, a protest occurred on March 28 in downtown Danville about Wilson's death and the involvement of police. A peaceful crowd gathered and held signs, including signs reading "Justice for Tyrell". The protest reportedly involved over 100 people. The crowd took a knee and blocked traffic, and reportedly marched to the police station in Danville.

Several speakers then reportedly addressed the crowd, including representatives of several other African-American persons involved in fatal police incidents in the East Bay. Wilson's father reportedly spoke as well, and shared that he had previously worked in law enforcement. He expressed concerns about the possibility that his son's alleged mental health issues may have contributed to his death.

Protestors reportedly carried bullhorns and shouted chants as they marched. Some wore Black Lives Matter t shirts. Most Danville residents were reportedly supportive of the protests. Danville consistently ranks among the safest cities in California, with very limited crime. Some residents likely joined in with the protests as well. A small Black Lives Matter protest occurred in Danville over the Summer of 2020, with several local citizens appearing to join in.

The investigation into Wilson's death is ongoing. Police agencies have said that they are committed to full transparency about the incident, and to releasing all information available so that citizens can get a full picture of what occurred.

This is an evolving event and more information is likely to emerge as inquiries continue. Follow me here at News Break for additional updates.

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips: tom@gadoimages.com

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