Santa Rosa Cops Shoot and Kill Man After Car Chase (and crash)

Redwood Curtain CopWatch Note:  Albert Leday Sr. is the 21st person killed by cops (officially admitted) in Santa Rosa since 1999.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100603/ARTICLES/100609824

Albert Mike Leday, Jr. left, is pictured here holding his grandchild while
standing next to his son, Justin Leday, holding his son, another grandchild.
Albert Leday was shot and killed after fleeing from sheriff's deputies.

Son says his father 'made mistakes' but was a good man

By Jeremy Hay jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT June 4, 2010

The man shot dead this week by a sheriff's deputy after a chase through Santa
Rosa was an avid athlete who ran in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers races,
worked full time and was trying to carve a straight path in his life, family
members said Thursday. “Yeah, he made mistakes in his life, but he was a
good man,” said his son, Justin Leday, 25, of Santa Rosa.

Albert Mike Leday Jr., 49, of Santa Rosa was killed Tuesday afternoon in a
dramatic encounter at an entrance to Coddingtown Mall, just as rush hour
began.

Police said he was a dangerous felon with a long history of criminal
convictions, most recently in 2003 for burglary. He was paroled on that
sentence in October 2009.

Court records dating from 1994 show that he had been convicted on charges
that included burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and causing great
bodily injury, and that he several times had restraining orders issued
against him.

Justin Leday said his father, who lived in an apartment near West Third
Street, was an Army veteran, a loving father of three boys, a doting
grandfather and excited to be working as a maintenance technician for a
Santa Rosa company that repairs Amtrak buses. “I don't understand,” he said
through tears. “I just want to know why my father was shot with no weapon on
him.”

Leday said he didn't know why his father led deputies on the chase from
Larkfield to its fatal conclusion at Guerneville Road and West Steele Lane. “I
don't know what was going through his head. I don't know why he ran,” he
said.

Leday speculated his father, who two weeks ago bought the white Volvo that
on Tuesday he crashed into a light pole, bringing the pursuit to a close,
didn't want to be pulled over because he had a lengthy criminal record

“My father's been arrested before. It's not a secret that he's been in
trouble a lot before,” Leday said. “Two weeks ago, we were talking and he
said he hoped he didn't get pulled over by sheriff's deputies. “He felt like
his life was threatened by them, not that literally they were out gunning
for him, but he just didn't want any trouble.”

According to the police account of the events, after Leday crashed his car
he got out and “confronted” deputies and “refused to comply with ...
numerous orders to surrender.”

He then appeared to reach behind himself into his waistband, which he jerked
up several times, leading the deputy to believe he had a weapon and to shoot
at him three times, police said.

Justin Leday suggested his father was reaching for his wallet, which he kept
in his back pocket. He pointed out that investigators have not found a
weapon of any sort, despite a search that lasted nearly 24 hours, and he
said the shooting was unjustified.

“I'm not going to say he didn't do do it (reach behind himself). I'm not
going to say he wasn't a knucklehead, but he didn't have a weapon on him,
they didn't see a weapon on him,” he said.

Santa Rosa police, who are investigating the shooting as part of a
countywide protocol, have declined to release the name of the deputy
involved in the shooting.

Late Wednesday night, Police Lt. Paul Henry said he expected the name would
be released soon. He said the delay was typical, to “give the deputy or the
officer involved time to talk to his family and to begin to cope and process
what occurred.”

On Thursday, Police Lt. John Noland said the name wasn't being released
because of concerns that that would put law enforcement personnel in danger.

“There's information that would indicate that if we released a name or
names, there's a possibility that that could place a person or persons in
jeopardy,” Noland said.

Police said there is no gang involvement in the case. Noland would not
elaborate what the danger or safety issues are.

He said one of the deputies pursuing Leday during the chase had had previous
contact with him and knew at least some of his criminal history and
background.

He would not say if that deputy was the one who shot him. Three shots were
fired and one hit the suspect, a fatal wound to the chest.

A statement released by the Sheriff's Office the night of the shooting said
the events leading to it were triggered by a woman at the La Mancha
apartment complex in Larkfield who called for help, saying she believed her
ex-boyfriend had stolen jewelry from her. She also said he had assaulted her
a few days earlier and at the time had carried a knife.

When a deputy arrived at the apartment, he saw Leday's car and tried to pull
him over, said Sheriff's Lt. Chris Spallino. But Leday drove off at speeds
up 90 mph on Old Redwood Highway south to Santa Rosa, passing cars on the
left and right to try to elude the deputy, Spallino said.

Justin Leday said his father was going to move into the La Mancha apartments, but not with the woman, and that he was picking up some of his belongings from her.

He said his father and the woman had known each other for only two weeks and
said that when his family questioned the apartment manager, the manager said
there were no disturbances that might have been an assault.

Leday was the 21st person to be killed in a confrontation with law enforcement since 1999 in Sonoma County.

Police said there is no gang involvement in the case. Noland would not elaborate what the danger or safety issues are.

He said one of the deputies pursuing Leday during the chase had had previous contact with him and knew at least some of his criminal history and background.

He would not say if that deputy was the one who shot him. Three shots were
fired and one hit the suspect, a fatal wound to the chest.

A statement released by the Sheriff's Office the night of the shooting said the events leading to it were triggered by a woman at the La Mancha apartment complex in Larkfield who called for help, saying she believed her ex-boyfriend had stolen jewelry from her. She also said he had assaulted her a few days earlier and at the time had carried a knife.

When a deputy arrived at the apartment, he saw Leday's car and tried to pull him over, said Sheriff's Lt. Chris Spallino. But Leday drove off at speeds up 90 mph on Old Redwood Highway south to Santa Rosa, passing cars on the left and right to try to elude the deputy, Spallino said.

Justin Leday said his father was going to move into the La Mancha apartments, but not with the woman, and that he was picking up some of his belongings from her.

He said his father and the woman had known each other for only two weeks and said that when his family questioned the apartment manager, the manager said there were no disturbances that might have been an assault.

Leday was the 21st person to be killed in a confrontation with law enforcement since 1999 in Sonoma County.

Comments

From ACLU of Sonoma County                              June 11, 2010

To: Sheriff Bill Cogbill         
2796 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Personally served on Sheriff Department June 11, 2010

Re: California Public Records Act Request

Dear Sheriff Bill Cogbill:
I am writing on behalf of the Sonoma Chapter of American Civil Liberties
Union of Northern California to request a copy of the following records,
which I understand to be in the possession of your agency and available to
the public:[1]

1.  All records containing the identity of the Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy
who shot Albert Leday on June 1, 2010.

2. All records containing the identities of all Sonoma County Sheriff
Deputy(ies) who were present when Albert Leday was shot on June 1, 2010.
Please respond to this request within ten days, either by providing all the
requested information or by providing a written response setting forth the
legal authority on which you rely in failing to disclose each document.[2]

This request applies to all documents in the agency¹s possession, including
emails, video and audiotapes, and other electronic records.  It also
includes documents that were created by a member of another government
agency or a member of the public.[3]   If specific portions of any documents
are exempt from disclosure, please provide the non-exempt portions.[4]

If I can provide any clarification that will help identify responsive
documents or focus this request, please contact me at (707) 481-4488 or
aclu@sonic.net.

Because the ACLU is a nonprofit civil rights organization, we request that
you waive any fees that would be normally applicable to a Public Records Act
request.[5]  However, should you be unable to do so, the ACLU will reimburse
your agency for the ³direct costs² of copying these records (if your agency
elects to charge for copying) plus postage.  If you anticipate that these
costs will exceed $50, please contact me before making any copies.
Otherwise, please copy and send them as soon as possible, and we will
promptly pay the required costs.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

Steven Fabian 
ACLU of Sonoma County

[1] California Public Records Act (Govt. Code § 6250 et seq.);
see Cal. Const. Art. I § 3(b).

[2]  Govt. Code § 6255.

[3] See Poway Unified School District v. Superior Court (1998)
62 Cal.App.4th 1496.

[4]  Govt. Code § 6253(a).

[5] See North County Parents Organization v. Department of
Education (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 144.

 

My name is davon hill and i have known justin LeDay for seventeen years and his father almost as long and i know that there is a fine line of action when it comes to officers making split second decisions regarding the safety of themselfs and fellow officers but they are also required and expected to have the capability to identify and asses a threat and make a decision on the appropriate level of force to nuetrilize a threat while doin there best to preserve the life of the person or persons involved and the fact that there was no weapon found on the man whos life was takin nor in the area is undeniable evidence to me that the motivation and situation asessment capabilitys of the officer/officers in question needs to be severly questioned. R.I.P ALBERT.                 P.S still wonder why thers such a common attitude amungst our youth/adolesence of  FUCK THE POLICE well here u r.. Stay srong Justin I love you brother
 
 

ACLU SEEKS ID OF DEPUTY IN SHOOTING: SHERIFF SAYS NAME WITHHELD FOR SAFETY

June 16, 2010  © 2010- The Press Democrat

BY RANDI ROSSMANN and JULIE JOHNSON / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT PAGE: B3

The refusal by Sonoma County sheriff's officials to  release the name of a
deputy who shot and killed a man following a  high-speed chase two weeks ago
is being challenged by the ACLU. The  Sonoma County chapter of the American
Civil Liberties Union has  formally requested Sheriff Bill Cogbill release
the name of the  deputy, as well as other deputies present at the shooting.

Albert Mike Leday Jr., 49, died June 1 after being shot while in  front of
Coddingtown Mall at Guerneville Road and West Steele Lane  after leading
deputies on a chase and crashing into a pole.

Sheriff's officials said the deputy who shot him has not been  identified
because his safety could be in jeopardy. They have also  refused to say if
the deputy has been involved in any other  shootings and how long he has
been on the force.

Cogbill on Tuesday held to that position, saying the department has
information indicating a possible threat to the officer.

Leday was an ex-felon on parole for a burglary conviction with a  record
that included assault with a deadly weapon and two  restraining orders.

Cogbill on Tuesday said he had some ties to gangs, but a gang  connection
alone did not warrant withholding the deputy's name, he  said.

Three days after the shooting, Santa Rosa police officials leading  the
investigation said gang activity was not part of their concern  for the
deputy's safety.

Cogbill said they've uncovered more information since that time.

"I believe it's a viable threat and something we need to be  concerned
about," Cogbill said.

Leday's family Tuesday refuted reports that Leday had gang ties,  his son
said.

"He was an educated, well-spoken man who had zero ties to gangs,"  said his
son, Justin Leday, 25, of Santa Rosa.

The wait to find out more about why a deputy used lethal force  against
Leday, who was apparently unarmed, has taken a toll on his  family, said
Perla Rodriguez, 49, of Las Vegas, Justin Leday's  mother and Leday's
high-school sweetheart.

"I want answers, I need answers," Rodriguez said. "I can't rest,  and
believe me, my son can't rest."

Steve Fabian, a member of the local ACLU board, wrote to the  sheriff on
behalf of the agency, citing the California Public  Records Act and asking
for the information within 10 days.

Cogbill said he met with a county attorney Tuesday afternoon in  light of
the ACLU's letter and confirmed that the Public Records  Act allows a law
enforcement agency to withhold a name when that  person's safety is in
question.

"The law is pretty clear that if we feel there's a viable threat to  the
person, then we can withhold the name," Cogbill said.

Cogbill added that the decision to continue withholding the name  was not
influenced by the deputy's record or time on the force.

"It has nothing to do with any past history or actions or who the  person
is," Cogbill said.

If an investigation determines the threat isn't real, he'll release  the
name, Cogbill said.

Law enforcement agencies may be legally justified in withholding a  name
right after a shooting if there's a "clear and direct threat"  to the
person's safety, Terry Francke, general counsel with the  nonprofit public
records group Californians Aware, told The Press  Democrat last week. But
Francke said there's no legal basis to  withhold that information
indefinitely.

In prior cases involving deputies shooting a suspect, the release  of names
has varied.

It took two days for Santa Rosa police and the Sheriff's Office to  release
the names of two deputies involved in the March 2007 fatal  shooting of
Jeremiah Chass, a Sebastopol teenager.

It took two months for sheriff's officials that same year to  release the
name of three deputies who shot and killed a man who  wounded a deputy.
Officials claimed it had taken that long to  determine if there were
credible threats against the three.

In the Leday case, deputies were called to a Larkfield apartment by  a woman
fearful of her ex-boyfriend. She told a dispatcher he'd  recently assaulted
her and was then armed with a knife.

When deputies spotted the man in his car, he led them on a chase  from
Larkfield to Coddingtown.

At the mall entrance, Leday drove into a light pole and got out of  his car.
Sheriff's officials said he was seen reaching for  something behind his back
and that he wouldn't follow commands to  comply with deputies.

Deputies said they feared he had a weapon. One deputy fired three  times,
hitting Leday once.

He was apparently unarmed and no weapon was found in the car or at  the
scene.

 

My name is davon hill and i have known Justin LeDay for seventeen years and his father almost as long i know the line of what force of action IS appropriate is very thin when an officer is making split decisions regarding the saftey of themselves and there fellow officers but they are also required and expected by the people they protect to be capable of making those decisions in a split second while also determining an appropriate level of force to use while preserving the life of the person/persons being subdued and the fact there was no weapon on the man whos life was ended in such an untimely fashion at the hands of this overseer i mean officer in question is undeniable proof to me that needs to be a serious reevaluation of officers motivations personal beliefs and situation assesment capabilities while in the field cause this is an unjustifiable unnecessary and inexcusable loss and should not be overlooked based on a mans past history cause it is verry possible and any more seems almost probable that it could happen to you or someone you love so it is the general publics responsibilty to ensure that this situation is handled with all the care and severity of any murder case because this form of strong arm enforcment needs to stop because for too large of a portion of americas communities law enforcment are becoming street and mental terrorists and it is innapropriate.                            

P.S still wonder why theres such a common conscience amongst todays youth/adolesence of FUCK THE  POLICE WELL HERE IS JUST ONE OF THOUSANDS OF EXAMPLES     

Keep your HEAD UP and STAY STRONG justin I LOVE YOU BROTHER

He made me smile and laugh when I couldn't. He showed me what true love was when I didn't believe anymore. He was my soul mate. I can't believe he's gone! Why did you have to take this good man from us- his family and from me. Justice needs to be done and if you cops know whats right then you know that who ever did this needs to face the courts just like the bart police had to with the unarmed shooting in Oakland, CA. He faced up like a man and didn't hide behind his fucking badge like a coward. Who ever your superior is they're just as to blame for covering your identity up as if they pulled the trigger them selves. Please ACLU get justice for Albert's death his family deserves at least that much.

Justine and family I am sorry for not attending the funeral. But Shorty just saw me tonight and told me the news. Call me if you need anything, ok?

With grieving heart that loved Albert Jr. I'll keep our memeroies close to my heart.

Your secret Wifey.

Victoria (Aka: Vicki) 415-353-0210