Candidates face off at Contra Costa County public safety forum

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston met face to face with challenge Benjamin Therriault at a public safety candidate’s forum. The event was held at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

They spoke on many topics, including the high-profile police shooting involving ex-Danville Deputy Andrew Hall. Hall was sentenced to six years in prison for firing into a slow moving car, and killing 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda.

Livingston defended Hall and called the charges political.

"The officer felt his life was in danger," said Livingston. "That’s why he fired the shots that he did. We did a thorough investigation and found he was within policy. Two and a half years later District Attorney Becton decides to charge this officer."

Therriault said the deputy should have never been in that position, and blamed the leadership in the department. He said, "It’s policies that come from the top and transcend down the bottom to the deputies that actually have to do the work."

Livingston is running for re-election, and has held the position of Sheriff since 2010. Therriault is a Richmond police officer and leads the Richmond Police Officer’s Association.

"If you haven’t been on the ground as a law enforcement officer in the last five years then you have no idea what it’s like out there," said Therriault.

SEE ALSO: Contra Costa County D.A., FBI investigating Antioch, Pittsburg police for 'broad range of offenses'

The statewide Primary elections happen in June.