OAKLAND-Those who knew Yuvette Henderson say that the reports that circulated in the media after her fatal shooting by police were reported as fact before an investigation even began.
It was on February 3rd of last year that KGNU came upon a scene outside of Home Depot in west Oakland where several police were blocking off Hollis Street, the street running in front of Home Depot in Emeryville, California.
It was the next day that we learned that Oakland resident, 38-year old Yuvette Henderson had been fatally shot upon leaving the store. Her crime? She was suspected of shoplifting.
Emeryville Police Chief Ken James said that following a foot chase that Henderson was armed and pointed a gun at police, but one witness said that Henderson did not point anything at police and was unarmed. Officers on the scene failed to activate their body cameras and there exists no video footage of inside Home Depot relevant to the scene, nor from where she was shot at a nearby storage facility due to failure of that facility’s recording equipment,according to police.
“She was at Home Depot accused of allegedly stealing kitchen knives,”
her brother Jamison Henderson described to KPFA radio what he found out after being allowed to see what video did in fact exist, but which family members said was disappointing to see given the conclusions that were reached by police, “She didn’t even make it outside of Home Depot where a security guard confronted her. She supposedly hit her head. They were supposed to call an ambulance. At that time, she got up and ran. The ambulance never came. It was only two minutes from the time she ran to the time the police came and shot her with an AR-15 three times, once in the back of the head, twice in the back torso. They like ended up killing her on the spot.”
She was shot in the head as she ran for the city bus by three different weapons. Officers Michele Sheperd and Walter Williams of the Emeryville Police Department were named as the shooters according to the police chief.
Henderson’s brother Jamison asked of the public to,”Just keep her name out there cause for one thing, I don’t want her name to be slandered and I don’t want her name to go in vain. It really doesn’t even feel like it’s been a whole year. It’s like it’s yesterday. I just want her name to be remembered as the sweet sister that I know. She didn’t deserve to die.”
Monica, Henderson’s roommate spoke to KGNU last year at the time of her death when the anti-police terror project shut down the Emeryville Home Depot demanding that the store release the relevant surveillance footage. Monica tells a side of the story that hasn’t been reported,
“I was actually on the phone with her right before it happened. She was fine. And then a friend of mine was with her when the security guard approached them when they were leaving. And he knocked her to the ground so hard that when she got up, like the gravel was stuck to her head. And after that, I don’t know what happened but I know that for whatever reason, they went about it the wrong way because she was the most compassionate, sweetest, caring person I ever met. There wasn’t a time that I couldn’t go to her and ask her for anything. So I don’t understand how could this little lady pose such a threat to where they would kill her. I was the one who actually had to go and tell her kids. And it was sickening because the bond that she had with them was unbelievable. It’s just really, really rough.”
Henderson leaves behind two children ages 15 and 11.