Over 100 people joined a roving protest this week to demand that Emeryville businesses release video footage related to the police shooting of Yuvette Henderson.
The protest on April 12 began with a vigil for Henderson at the corner of 34th and Hollis streets in front of the Extra Space Storage where she was killed. Activists said surveillance video from the storage facility might have answers to what happened in the disputed final moments of Henderson’s life.
On Feb. 3, Emeryville Police officers Michelle Shephard and Warren Williams shot at the 38-year-old Oakland mother at least seven times, with Officer Williams firing six shots with an AR-15, a militarized weapon.
Minutes earlier, Home Depot security guards allegedly caught her shoplifting from the store. Activists have said the guards assaulted her inside the store.
In an audiotape of a 911 call released by police, a security guard claims Henderson pulled out a revolver before fleeing to West Oakland. One witness told news outlets Henderson tried to flag down an AC Transit bus.
According to police, Henderson then attempted to carjack three motorists. When police arrived, they say she pointed a gun at them. Officer Williams had a body camera, but did not turn it on until after the shooting.
Oakland Police have been charged with investigating the shooting death since it occurred within city limits.
During the protest, Henderson’s brother and sister, Jamison Henderson and Antrinette Jenkins, along with family members of other victims of police violence, shared their stories while supporters held signs reading, “Release the Tapes” and “We Want Answers.”
“It was an overkill,” said Jenkins, Henderson’s older sister. “Seven shots was too many. One shot was too many.”
“I’m missing my sister, grieving her. It’s unlimited and everlasting,” she said.
As protesters proceeded to Home Depot, police and security closed the doors upon their arrival.
“Locking innocent shoppers into a store is no way to handle peaceful protesters,” said Mollie Costello, executive director of the Alan Blueford Center for Justice.
Henderson’s sister delivered a letter to Home Depot and Extra Space Storage demanding that they release surveillance footage to the family.
Protesters continued to rally down San Pablo Ave. towards Oakland Police headquarters, blocking traffic on Broadway for 40 minutes. A line of Oakland police awaited their arrival at the corners of 8th St. and Broadway.
Jeralynn Brown-Blueford, whose son Alan Blueford was killed by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso nearly three years ago, joined the protest in support of Henderson’s family.
Cat Brooks of the Anti-Police Terror Project called on Oakland Police to release footage from Home Depot. “We know that inside of Home Depot, Yuvette was assaulted. She was so injured that an ambulance was called,” Brooks said. “Yuvette’s family has a right to know what happened to her.”
After calling on one of the officers to accept the letter from the family, Lt. Brandon Wehrly received the letter from Henderson’s sister Antrinette.