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Police Say Banta Charged Them With 10-Inch Knife

Walnut Creek police are still waiting for the toxicology reports; a coroner's inquest is scheduled in the next several months.

Anthony Banta was shot and killed on Dec. 27 by Walnut Creek police after threatening four officers with a 10-inch chef’s knife, refusing numerous orders to drop the weapon and preparing to charge toward them.

Those were the new details on the incident outlined by Police Chief Joel Bryden at a press conference Monday.

Officers were dispatched to the apartments at 1450 Creekside Dr. at 3:13 a.m. Dec. 27, after a 9-1-1 call from a woman included screaming and a plea for help, before the line went dead, Bryden said. When officers arrived, they found 22-year-old Banta at the top of the stairs. Bryden said Banta charged toward them with a 10-inch blade, at which point officers opened fire. Just how many shots were fired and by whom is not being released pending further investigation, he added.

Those details may emerge after a coroner’s inquest takes place in the next few months. Bryden said the department is waiting on toxicology reports that might reveal if Banta was on drugs at the time.

Responding to a question from the audience as to why officers didn’t use less lethal force, such as a Taser or shooting the suspect in the foot to prevent him charging at officers, to subdue Banta, Bryden said that such actions “happen on television, they don’t happen in real life.”

The couple who made the original 9-1-1 call told police that they believed Banta was going to hurt or kill them. Banta had no criminal record, and those who knew him said he was a gentle young man who showed no violent tendencies.

Chris Nicholson January 27, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Om calm reflection, and with benefit of knowing this person's history, it now seems plausible that he was on drugs, had a spontaneous mental breakdown and/or was attempting suicide-by-cop. Also, in the tense milliseconds prior to the first shot, maybe the cops could have given him another half second or so to stand down. But when you have what appears to be a violent crime in process with an armed /deranged perp who will not back down, I think you take the shot when safe to do so. Doesn't lessen the tragedy, but barring really shocking new evidence, I find it hard to blame the cops.
CNET Activist February 15, 2013 at 08:37 PM
I know first hand how Walnut Creek Officers use threat of guns. I'd like them to follow through with the police report about the suspect from Hillside Covenant Church tried to run me over June 2012 -- I've been stalked, followed, and had my businesses targeted. They are effective, my attorneys have been threatened, beaten up and no attorny will take my case. The Contra Costa Bar informed that I cannot use moderate means, that no attorneys members are interested in representing me. Kinda of odd - the CCC Bar has hundreds of attorneys and I can't get to meet with one attorney. I'd say the system is rigged.
Pikgitar February 15, 2013 at 09:04 PM
As time goes by, just as the cops knew, people would stop thinking about about this. Now the cops can just let the case die. Anyone getting tired of waiting for the autopsy results? Anyone still thinking that the cops need more time to cover up whatever details they might need to hide, keep from the public. This whole thing looks just like all the other police cover-ups and unless there's something like a witness (or two) or perhaps a video to bring truth and transparency to the forefront. I myself don't ever believe anything that cops say. They are ALL LIARS when it comes to covering up their foul deeds and their buffoonery that gets them into trouble. Only a fool would ever believe a cop's testimony. I certainly hope the victim's family lights a bonfire under the cop's feet and keep knocking on their door until some real answers are given. I don't need anymore statements from the chief saying STUPID STUFF like " he was preparing to charge toward them ".....
Noelle February 15, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Josh...the only people who will be sweeping the evidence under the carpet are the WC Police. Happens all the time. And one question for you. How do you know he was a "meth-head addict or a crack addict"? Is it because you were there with him or because it takes one to know one?
CNET Activist February 15, 2013 at 09:35 PM
M- I appeared at the City Council Meeting in November 1st 2011 about Walnut Creek Officers who months earlier came close to using their guns on me. Sadly my comments fell on deaf ears. These officers know about my research, they know I've asked a lot of questions about cases and they've got something to hide. I am litterally starving - mentally worn down from nearly 20 years of police corruption, cops shooting people I know and friends being murdered - and hearing it's a coincidence. I seriously doubt Banta was on drugs - he may have been given something unknowningly as it's happened to me and has landed me in the hospital with near fatal results. http://contracostawatch.blogspot.com/#!/2013/01/walnut-creek-city-council-meeting.html

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