WCPD: Banta Charged Police with a 10-Inch Chef’s Knife Before Being Killed

January 7, 2013 17:29 pm · 132 comments

Walnut Creek Police on Monday afternoon announced they shot & killed 22-year-old Anthony Banta after he charged at them with a 10-inch Chef’s knife.

Banta, of Walnut Creek, died after being shot by police at 3:15am on December 27th, just a few minutes after the Walnut Creek Police Department received a 911 call via transfer from the Contra Costa County Fire Department. Screaming could be heard in the background during that call. Officers were immediately sent to 1450 Creekside Drive and arrived within minutes.

Officers confronted Banta inside an apartment at the complex and were forced to shoot him, according to police.

Banta was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Walnut Creek Police Department is still waiting to receive toxicology reports, which will tell if Banta was drunk or on drugs at the time of the incident.

Mary January 7, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Ok we need Knife Control. =)

Cowellian January 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Banta seems to have made a very bad decision.

Travis January 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Forced to shoot him? They could have handled it differently. I realize it was a 10 inch knife, But there’s ways of taking someone down who has a weapon without killing them.

This is BS!!!!! January 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

This is complete BULLSH$T!! They could’ve tazered him!!
OR used a bean bag gun!!
Why do they feel the need to resort to killing first??
I am outraged!!!!
RIP Anthony ❤❤❤❤
Gone too soon

Howard K Mullins III January 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

“charged at them with a 10-inch Chef’s knife”

That alone is good enough for me.

I have heard from all sorts of folks what a great guy Banta was. I heard from someone who new him from where he worked.

The police had no chance to know that, all they knew was that this guy was heading their way with a big knife. The police followed their training.

Don’t know why Banta went a little crazy, really don’t care, just can’t blame the police for a guy going nuts on them.

Question January 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Are WC sworn equipped with Tasers?

Dragon January 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Did anyone else wonder what a Bantha was doing in Walnut Creek, or just me? 🙂

anonanonagain January 7, 2013 at 6:22 PM

We still don’t know all the circumstances and whether Banta was a threat to others besides the police in the room. Screaming could be heard in the background they said. Now the poor Banta he was a great guy defenders will come out. He sounds like a looney to me……

Jorge January 7, 2013 at 6:23 PM

This is obviously the police department’s story… too bad Banta is no longer alive to tell us what actually happened.

Pegasus January 7, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Okay then ,when the bad guys come at you with a knife it’s fair to shoot ’em.
Good to know.

Parsnip January 7, 2013 at 6:24 PM

The ones who do armchair quarterbacking after the fact are crack ups. The WCPD SHOULD have done it this way …. The WCPD SHOULD have done it that way. How could the WCPD determine what else Banta had up his sleeve?

Banta SHOULDN’T have been running after cops with a 10-inch knife.

Townie January 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Only took two cops with guns to take down a hairdresser that supposedly had a knife. #Heroes

someguy January 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

He knew what would happen when he chraged them. Makes him a moron. Those that think it could have been done differently, when someone charges you with a 10 inch knife, your first instinct is to protect yourself. They did. You would have been found dead with wet pants you monday morning quarterbacks.
You werent there, and you second guess those that were. Thats pathetic…

I'd like to decorate a cake......... January 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM

to share with his bereaved family and friends.
Is this the proper spelling of… R I D D A N C E……?

Jeff January 7, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Hey – if you run at a cop with a knife in your hand, you had better expect to be shot…..that’s all I’m saying.

I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure. But you don’t see us open carry guys doing any “running” at officers. We’re respectful and follow their laws, and lawful commands.

And lo and behold, none of us got shot. None of us got in trouble. None of us were robbed.

Just saying.

I understand some people are heartbroken over the loss of their friend, loved one, etc…..but people – you and everyone around you knows what will happen when you run at a cop with a weapon. You can’t blame them for HIS actions. I mean, that’s like blaming a gun for pulling it’s own trigger….

Wait….never mind. Some of you DO think that way. Emotion trumps reason instead of the opposite.

ctown January 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Anyone dumb enough to NOT do what a police officer with a gun tells them to do in a situation deserves to be shot.

Anon January 7, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Lesson to learn although in life you can get as drunk as you want and act as stupid as you want other people’s reactions to you may not be the same as your mom’s. Some people may shoot you.

The sooner you accept this fact the better the odds of you survival.

Works for me though, shorter lines at the stores.

Basel January 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

The responding WCPD officers took the necessary steps to stop not only a physical threat to themselves, but to those that called 911 inside the apartment. There isn’t time for a psych evaluation under such circumstances.

Anon January 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I didn’t see or read the news conference but what was the screaming in the background anyway? He didn’t live there? Who was he with? What did they day? Why was he there? I heard he was running down the stairs with a knife? I too wish they could’ve used a taser but I get the split second decision dilemma. Its not a choice I’d wish on anyone.

SpankyFortuna January 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Thank you for this post, Mr. Mayor. It’s always best to “let the dust settle” before we make any accusations.

shocker kahn January 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Some of the comments here still amaze me. Would you really expect to be alive if you charged a police officer with a knife? If you do, you are an idiot.

Gjets January 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

WCPD is a pansy dept, bike theft is the main crime in this city of ours, get a real cop job in a real city.

anon January 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

is a tazer really a good defense against a knife that size? i dont know how theyre used exactly but wouldnt they have to put themselves in major danger to get that close to taze him? im thinking a swipe at the neck and its all over.

JLG January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Here again we have the regular chorus of negative nabobs. Lets just think about what took place. Police called screaming on phone police confront person with long knife in small quarters. What would you do?

Buck January 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM

To all the DUMB s&&&s that post on this subject.Did the officer start his day with the intent to kill someone?NO.Did he fear for his life and others and did what he was trained to do?YES.

anon January 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM

@1 not funny.

Me January 7, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I knew him. He wasn’t the kind of person to do this. But he did. Something was seriously wrong that night. We will find out what it was when thettoxicology report comes. I find it sad that so many people judge a situation they weren’t there to see.

AJ January 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I thought we already were made aware of the weapon in the thread that was posted the following day? @6 yes, and they are also equipped with pepper spray and batons…

Walnut Creek Resident January 7, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I think the WCPD made a huge mistake. Many other options are available.
Tazer etc…I do not understand how a professional police department made such a stupid mistake. I really feel sorry for the young man and especially his family. I hope WCPD will get in big trouble for this, but I doubt it. ‘We live blood thirsty society. People will think they did the correct thing. Oh well the young man maybe in heaven and if he is I hope he understands what a dumb thing they did to him.

anon January 7, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I witnessed a Cop using a taser on a person and the taser didn’t work properly. Luckily the guy didn’t have a knife or the Officer could have been killed.

Seriously?? January 7, 2013 at 8:07 PM

So if his intention was to kill the cops (what else would he be doing charging them with a 10″ blade??) why wouldn’t these officers protect themselves??
So an officer is to approach a hostile situation quickly, but first make sure he has bean bags loaded in case the knife isn’t that big or something?
Come on get real here people, rush a cop with a 10″ knife and you’re going to get shot.
Anyone that doesn’t think so, please, try it 🙂

Bha.. January 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Don.t take a knife to a gun fight. You will lose.

J. January 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

As a Hairdresser, I’ll bet Banta could whip a mean knife in a fight.

Just an opinion January 7, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Does a police officer have to die to be in the right? These officers have families and kids just like the rest of us. When most of you leave for work in the morning, do your wife and kids think…I hope dad comes home tonight? If this story involved a soldier serving in the middle east that shot a civilian coming at him with a knife would people be second guessing? We would see him at an airport or restaurant and say “thank you for your service.” As well we should.

Reporting to a domestic fight in the middle of the night is the single most dangerous thing a police officer can do. While the officer’s family (and most of ours) is home safely tucked in bed, he becomes the relationship therapist via 911 and alcohol/drugs for these folks.

I used to know three different local police officers that could offer insight into the best way to approach…and not approach… domestic arguments after a 911 call. I would like to ask them, but I cannot. They are dead.

Again: does the officer have to die before we can opine that they did a good job and went home to their families. I will be going to a crab feed fundraiser in a couple of weeks where I will see the now college-age children of the officers I mentioned above. Is there anything any of the critics here would like me to say to them? Sleep well tonight all you sheep….and be grateful the Shepherd is watching over you.

Steve January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Standard POST training for officers facing an individual with a knife is to respond to it with deadly force. Numerous studies have shown that a BG with a knife within 7 yds of an officer can close in and attack the officer before he can draw and fire his firearm.

For the idiots (#3 and #4) who “suggested” using a taser, you might educate yourself in police procedures and training before spouting off on things about which you know NOTHING! Or supposing you are the experts, let’s see your CV that supports your extensive law enforcement training and expert witness designation by the courts to support your assertion.

Friggin armchair quarterbacks….

Enfield303 January 7, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Sorry this young man lost his life,but HE put himself and the officers in a no win situation.Life threating split second decisions don’t allow one to fumble around with tasers and bean bags. They don’t even carry bean bags around with them. I know, they can carry peacock feathers and tickle the suspect into compliance. OR carry banana peels to throw down. Get a grip people.

Dixie January 7, 2013 at 8:29 PM

What in the world is wrong with some of you people??? Let me ask you if you had a gun and a tazer and some crazy jackwagon is yelling and running towards you with a knife..uhm..tazer? gun..? I’m sorry but I’m gonna shoot his sorry self! He’s meanin’ to cut me up! Got a family..? Yeah you wouldn’t have if he got you first! You be dead!
So really the WCPD is doing what they’re trained for. They’re protecting your rights.. your safety..your kids and family..its what they do!!
it’s weird when someone who is out to do no good gets hurt or killed.. They all of a sudden become a victim or a saint..when really they are trouble with a capital “T”! Get real folks.
Come on people pull your heads out. If someone like Banta was comin’ at me with a knife he better know ahead a time ..ya don’t come to a gun fight with a knife. Sorry he was killed but don’t be a law breaker and don’t try to kill other people. Thanks WCPD for protecting this town..

J. January 7, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Maybe we should issue Samuri swords to Law Enforcement Officers?

Taser January 7, 2013 at 8:34 PM

The Taser is not an end all – be all. It shots two barbed hooks out of the cartridge. The top barb is aimed at a subject by use of a lazer. the lower barb travels at an 8 degree angle from the top. For every foot of travel, the barbs are one foot apart. So if the barbs travel 8 feet then they will be 8 inches apart. Both must land on the subject to be effective. The electrical pulse causes Neuro Muscular Incapacitation. (It causes all the muscles between the two barbs to lock up. The pulse last for 5 seconds. The WCPD carry the X26. It can carry cartridges with different length wires connecting the barbs to the gun. WCPD most likely uses 25ft wires.

Anon January 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Maybe those guys that do the legal disclaimers at the end of radio commercials, you know the ones that talk really fast, should be used by law enforcement to talk him down before they shoot him. That way all these blowhards would feel better.

SanDee January 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Anyone who runs towards someone with a 10 inch knife cannot reasonably expect a good response or outcome.

Bunny January 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM

It’s safe to say that going towards a police officer with a knife is not the appropriate procedure. This guy had to be high somehow. You know the kind of person we call the police to help us with? This is always aweful. No one wins. We need to be more careful about how we act.

Subterfuge January 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

A tazer is considered a less than lethal option. Meaning it is employed usually when the threat is not considered both imminent and deadly. The guy died because he was reckless with his own lfe. End of story.

Subterfuge January 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

On another note, I am concerned that it took WCPD so long to release this information. Why the delay?

Safety Second January 7, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Reenact with a friend while yelling and charging with a simulated 10″ knife, then make mental note of “the pucker factor.” ……I’m taking the shot!

Antler January 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Dragon at #7 ~ ~ ~ Don’t ask ME ….’cause I’m the one who still types “Water Closet” into the search rectangle for Water Cooler archives! 😉

Indeed January 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM

@ #15 that’s just mean as hell… the guy got what he asked for but his family/friends are grieving. If you can’t say something decent, keep your mouth shut. How would you feel if someone you know / loved died and someone said this to you.

@30 You made some very valid points, I agree…

Diablo January 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM

I’m hoping that if I’m ever in a situation where a 5 foot tall 100 pound hair dresser squeels and comes at me with a knife I could handle it better. Then again maybe he gave one of the police a bad hair cut.

nonewtaxesinwc January 7, 2013 at 9:10 PM

stupid kid had a knife, if I had a gun and he charged me I would have shot

The Kid January 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Jackie Chan would have had that knife disabled and Banta back home safely. WCPD thugs run this city

somebody else January 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Sometimes the bad guy has a gun and four policemen get killed. Is that what you want?

Somebody was in the mood to kill somebody before the police showed up.
Drug/alcohol results will explain the attack.

Some of you would be pleased if the police suffered the fatality.

“…don’t be a law breaker and don’t try to kill other people. Thanks WCPD for protecting this town.”

@ #30 January 7, 2013 at 9:17 PM

“Sleep well tonight all you sheep”

You are an idiot. What makes you so high on your horse?

itsme January 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

@It’s My Opinion and Dixie……very well said! I don’t remember where I heard it but it seems that someone said Banta had been strangling his roomate who said it wasn’t Banta….like he was possessed or something.

Mom January 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

It should be common sense that if you raise ANY weapon at a police officer, there will not be a good outcome. Nevermind the fact that there’s a HUGE difference between a 10 inch kitchen knife and a dinky little pocket knife.

The WCPD officers responded the way their training taught them to, and I can’t and won’t fault them for that.

A 5 foot tall, 100 pound man can do a lot of damage with a knife, no matter how much bigger the officers were. Good grief people… THINK.

give me a break January 7, 2013 at 10:12 PM

a grown man can clear more than 7 yards in less than a second
while its not the outcome we would have liked its hard to blame any officer
for protecting them selves

judaspriest January 7, 2013 at 10:39 PM

wcpd will end up paying a ton of dough in this one, hey Mr Burris if you can fit this one into your firm its a slam dunk

The way I see it... January 7, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Ok, here’s my theory.. Banta wanted to commit suicide. Knowing that insurance will not pay out on suicides, he needed another option.

He created a disturbance that would get the police involved. When they arrived, he charged them with the knife knowing that the police ( who are trained to shoot to kill ) would shoot him.

He was able to commit suicide ( by cop ) and his family can still collect the insurance. Possibly millions more by the lawsuit they will against the city for wrongful death.

Ian January 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Suicide by cop

Wait, there's more .... January 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Interested to see the toxicology report on this one!

Elwood January 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM

For some people the cops are always wrong. I’m betting most of the people talking about how evil the cops are have had lots of contact with them. I wonder why that might be?

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” –George Orwell

LovePh January 7, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Embarrassing that many of you think the officer was in the wrong. When you do something wrong officers will hopefully be there to protect the others around you. And if you are stupid enough to charge at the men and women we as the citizens have hired to protect us….yes they will shoot.
I am so tired of people not being held accountable for their actions.
I am backing the police officers and my prayers go out to them and their families since they will have to deal with the fact that they had to use deadly force.
I am all for officers using their weapons that I pay my taxes to make sure they are there and carrying them, when I and friends and family need them.

Keyboard Jockeys January 7, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Steve #31 is spot on. So many of these comments are clueless, inspired by movies, TV shows or video games, rather than real life in the law enforcement field.

One of my best friends is a WC cop, involved in the investigation of this case. One of the post-incident procedures they perform is a reenactment at the scene, so they can better analyze the chain of events. Those who are used to 30-minute crime dramas have no idea what a real-life investigation entails. Why they wait to release information.

Those armchair jockeys who are criticizing the WC cops are pathetic and wouldn’t last a day in their shoes.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 3:30 AM

@Travis #3 – Police meet force with force and stopped the threat…


Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 3:34 AM

All the “Great guys,” with whom I’m familiar, have yet to charge police with a knife.

Just saying…

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 3:40 AM

Walnut Creek Resident wrote: “I think…”

Since you do NOT have the education, training, experience and/or expertise the the field…


Lexi January 8, 2013 at 6:00 AM

@46, don’t confuse movies with reality. As others have said, standard training is that someone with a knife within 21 feet is considered a deadly threat. They can get to you and stab you before you are able to stop them if you don’t act immediately.

kaybee January 8, 2013 at 6:40 AM

Is this man someone we should know for other reasons? I’ve never heard of him, but it seems like people know who he is.

The Mamba January 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Has there ever been any discussion about the person screaming in the background and if they are OK? I could care less about an idiot that charged the police with a knife, he got what he deserved. If you don’t want to die, don’t run at the police with a knife. It’s pretty simple.

Anon January 8, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6, WCPD clearly did the right thing. Dont charge at police with a deadly weapon in a fit of rage, those 2 officers reacted perfectly within the scope of their training. They will not be punished, they will be given time off and counseling if needed to reflect and recover from the mental strain of being put in a seriously horrible situation by the angry little hair dresser.

Johnny Bones January 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM

My parents never told me not to charge the police with a 10″ knife. You know why? Because it was just understood that I should never do that! I knew this as a small child. It’s common sense. Who the hell wouldn’t know that? Whether he was a nice guy or not doesn’t matter. It was a split second decision that Banta made. So the cops made their split second decision. It was the right decision. If you don’t want to get shot by the police, then don’t charge at them with a weapon. Everyone knows the rules so don’t be surprised by what happens when someone doesn’t play by them.

Anon January 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Need to outlaw all knives over 1″ just as stupid as the new gun laws. It is not the wepon it is the person behind the wepon that kills.

inmotion January 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM

He had a 10 inch knife! That my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Who knows what really happened, dead hairstylist tell no tells.

Straight and Narrow January 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I knew Anthony. I think something went horribly wrong that night. He must have had some kind of mental breakdown. He was a gentle person and intelligent. People who say he was stupid and got what he deserved because he was stupid didn’t know him, and clearly they are the stupid ones.

That said, maybe this ended up the way it did because WC police officers just don’t have a lot of experience dealing with mentally ill people wielding knives or even criminals coming at them with knives. I wonder how Richmond PD, Oakland PD, or SF PD would have dealt with the situation.

No offense to WC PD, but those officers aren’t faced with the same threats that other forces are faced with every day. Maybe the officer panicked (I would have panicked).

Straight and Narrow January 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM

The fact that Banta charged police with a 10″ knife indicates that there was something seriously wrong with his mental state that night. The failure to appreciate the risk and the consequences of his actions indicates mental breakdown, not stupidity.

Ricardoh January 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

If someone has a gun shoot to kill. If they have a knife or club shoot them in the leg, more than once if necessary. I think the separation distance would determine whether you shoot to kill or wound.

anon January 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM

@ BS and the others who would defend a man who obviously had issues…seriously you think because he’s a hirdresser that makes him less of a threat?…what are you trying to say about hairdressers?….u people are morons…why are to cops ALWAYS wrong?

Rob January 8, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Good thing for the cops the guy had a knife and not a gun or we may be burying a cop or two along with the bad guy…

Oh – and no – the cops did nothing wrong. For all of you who say “shoot him in the leg” or “tazer him” – have you ever been charged or trained for physical engagements?

When some crazy person is charging you with a 10″ knife – that is a seriously big knife by the way – and you have a gun – you shoot them to stop them and that is center mass – you don’t play freaking games – you do whatever it takes to stop the crazy person before he reaches you and if he dies he dies.

Gentle readers January 8, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Stop paying attention to the armchair quarterbacks with their nifty ideas, such as tasers and bean bags and meditation. These shallow people don’t know anything and put it on display here. They are silly and of no consequence. The bottom line is the guy that attacked WCPD failed and the cops are OK. Thats a good thing.

Jim January 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM

@Straight and Narrow…I have 2 cops in the family and they said taking a life is the worst possible outcome…so the cop is probably dealing with his own demons so they both lost…stop trying to second guess a cop…everyone is so sad and hurt by the loss of Anthony…ever try and see it from the cop’s side….he had to take a life that can never be returned…try and put that on your conscience?…what if he has a family…….how was your day dear?….I shot and killed a man today….think that’s fun to talk about?….you all want us to feel so bad for your friend and his mental state but want to make the cop out to be a bad guy that panicked…what if this was the other way around and he had actually made it to the cop and killed him? what would you be saying now?…still defend your friend’s mental state and say the cop should have done more to protect himself?…you’ll are pretty selfish only seeing it from one side

Walnut Creek Resident January 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Of course it is crazy to charge a cop with a knife, WCPD should have had a bunch of non lethal weapons ready to go!!! Dah that is their job. All of you who think it there was no time to decide what weapon to use are thinking like a person who has no training. They get hours of training and should have used better judgement.

mileena January 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

WCR, you are a moron.

If the WCPD went in with Super Soakers and the guy had a gun, they would be dead. Their first priority is their safety and the safety of innocent people. A man charging at them with a knife is NOT an innocent person. A knife absolutely constitutes deadly force and should be countered with deadly force.

The cops did the right thing here. It was the dead guy who made the mistakes.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM

@ Straight – You seem to have trouble grasping the issues. If you truly want to know more; do a little reseach on the topic and learn about what the United States Supreme Court has RULED — as it pertains to these issues — okay?.

RancherAtHeart January 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Seriously? Just stop for a second and think what you would do if someone charged at you with a knife of that size? Trust me if I had a gun, I would have shot him too. My life is worth more than an idiots life. Going home to my children and my spouse is worth more than an idiots life. Protecting other people is worth more than an idiots life. Natural selection people…..

Straight and Narrow January 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

@ Jim

I have three cops in my family. BFD. Having cops in the family doesn’t make one an expert on law enforcement. Maybe you should read what I wrote a little closer. I’m not saying the cops did anything wrong. What I want to know is what other forces that deal with these kinds of situations on a frequent basis do.

The bottom line is that there are mentally ill people out there and the best thing would be for law enforcement to receive adequate training and have effective procedures in place to deal with these kinds of situations.

just me January 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I think some people need to sit back and look at the facts as they have been laid out to all of us.

911 call comes in to dispatch, dispatchers notifies WCPD that they can hear screaming in the background.

WCPD dispatches 2 patrol officers to a reported domestic violence in the middle of the night. As has been stated earlier by other comments most PD officers will tell you that a domestic violence is the most dangerous situation they can be sent to.

Officers arrive on scene, as per training I am sure one hand was on their issued revolver; as they approach a person is coming at them with a large knife (if it’s a chef’s knife i am sure it was VERY sharp). I have not read for sure but if he was coming down the stairs now add that to the speed he was approaching. After being told to stop etc he sill charges the officers.

You as an officer have less than a second to make a choice for your safety, your partner’s safety and quite possibly the citizens you are sworn to protect safety. The officer’s reacted quckily with the best of their training.

Remember just a few weeks before this was the horrible SHES shooting, again a smaller gentleman who may have had mental problems…..the size of the person doesn’t matter they can do great harm to another person with a gun and/or knife. An officer has a second to make a choice for the protection of themselves and those around them.

Don't run with scissors! January 8, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Sounds like a “blue suicide”. My mom taught me not to run with scissors. Don’t they teach him that in beauty school? Obviously his mother did not teach him properly. Don’t blame the police for your bad parenting.

Parsnip January 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM

#81 — “WCPD should have had a bunch of non lethal weapons ready to go!!!”

Oh yeah, I’ll bet that would have been REALLY effective in a 900 sq ft location at 3:15 AM. Especially involving some guy running at them with an object that couldn’t be seen, and pre-recorded screams over a Dispatch radio that probably didn’t sound too ecstatic.

anonymous January 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Good work, Walnut Creek police. Don’t listen to the foolish people who post here. They don’t deserve you, but I know you’ll protect them anyway.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 12:10 PM

@Sand N #85…

the bottom line is when it comes to split second desicion making, in life and death situations, police are not in the position/qualified to conduct a psychological evaluation first.

Steve January 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

@WCR #81 – please see earlier post #36 before showering us with your extreme lack of knowledge.

Somebody Else January 8, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I disagree with some of what Walnut Creek Resident WCR says, however, the following remarks are interesting.

Don’t Censor Me Bro
Walnut Creek Resident wrote: “I think…”
Since you do NOT have the education, training, experience and/or expertise the the field…

WCR, you are a moron.

@WCR #81 – please see earlier post #36 before showering us with your extreme lack of knowledge.

These are emotional Ad hominem attacks. And their credentials are?

You will find that WCR’s position is exactly the issue and legal argument that is being investigated by the WCPD themselves. It will be the issue in the Opening remarks in the Civil action which will go forward regardless of the Districts Attorney’s opinion on whether to prosecute or not.

Don’t censor me…? Moron…? extreme lack of knowledge…?

The family will have their day in court. Even if they are wrong.

Two VESTED patrol officers should have been able to take this guy.

What happened to batons? Irish cops maintained order against knives in New York.

ItsAnInsideJob January 8, 2013 at 2:06 PM

@Straight and Narrow — Well said and good insight. The instances of mental illness are on the rise and I do hope the unfortunate outcome in this situation brings attention to the fact that law enforcement and probably all public protection teams need more effective simulation training to deal effectively and safely in future confrontations involving emotionally or mentally compromised individuals.

The Mamba January 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

So no one knows if the person screaming was alright? Also, “just me”, I sincerely doubt any Walnut Creek Police officer uses a revolver, this isn’t the ’80’s.

@ Somebody Else January 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Forrester v. City of San Diego, 25 F.3d 804, 806. (9th Cir.1994)

This case dealt with the use of force in an arrest (seizure under the 4th Amendment). The plaintiff’s argument was that the San Diego Police Department used excessive force because they had other force options available to them other than the one used.

The 9th US Circuit ruled that the police need not use the least amount of force available; however, the force used must be reasonable.

In U.S. Supreme Court Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989) deals with what is reasonable force. “The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.”

The Court went on to state that determining reasonableness is “from the perspective of the reasonable officer on the scene rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

A gun, knife, bat, crowbar etc when used unlawfully is a deadly weapon capable of causing death or great bodily injury.

So the only reliant question here is this: When faced with the threat of death or great bodily injury is it reasonable for an officers to use deadly force to stop them (seize them)?

Not what would you have liked them to use but is it reasonable for the police or any other person for that matter to respond to deadly force or great bodily injury with deadly force or force likely to cause great bodily injury?

Mars January 8, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Here’s my question to you:

When a guy at the top of a stairwell charges at you with a butcher knife do you:

A) Attempt to taser him and hope the two projectile prongs both connect and stick into the individual and effectively “taze” him
B) Pull out the weapon that you KNOW will effectively protect your life and allow you to live another day to see your children
C) Firmly say to him “Please don’t stab me, sir.”

There will always be critics of the cops protecting their lives with Lethal force. In the public eye, it’s NEVER necessary, they always invent a better solution. I have news for you, people are crazy and on rare occasion even in walnut creek lethal force is necessary.

I’d rather hear your negative comments then hear the claycorders saying “god bless the cops family, what a tragic incident, RIP”

When you go to work, do you want to go home at the end of the day I your family?

….think fast

ToooBad January 8, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Seems like there could be a way to subdue people who do not have guns aren’t posing an immediately lethan threat without killing them. Like couldn’t they have tasered him, or shot him in the foot or leg or something?

ItsAnInsideJob January 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM

@Mars – yes, without blood on my hands.

Straight and Narrow January 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

@83 Don’t Censor Me Bro

I do think I “grasp” the issues, particularly the legal issues. (I am an attorney and have practiced law for ten years.) I think it’s going to be hard to make the case that the officers responded with unreasonable force, BUT I still think it is regrettable that the officers shot and killed a young man. I’m not saying that the officers should be disciplined or lose their jobs. It would be worth it to provide officers with more training on how to deal with these situations.

mileena January 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM


Maybe they should have just shot the knife out of his hand.

Seiously, try to shoot a running guy in the foot sometime, then ask yourself that same question.

anon in Concord January 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

@ post 35………

You are right on the money!!!!!

Cowellian January 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Another career criminal heard from.

Leni January 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Why are they not releasing the nature of the argument between the roommate(s) and Banta? The roommate and female were locked in the bedroom and called 911. When the police arrived they had to bust in the front door and that is when they saw him at the top of the staircase with the knife.

Parsnip January 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

@Pigs #102 — Back to your pen, dude. It’s almost time for lights out.

@ Tooobad January 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

The police have lots of options when dealing with non-threatening people but by all accounts this is not how the incident unfolded. The police were not dealing with a non-threatening person. They were dealing with someone brandishing a knife who came towards them. The police do not lose their right to self-defense because of their occupation nor do they have to retreat before defending themselves. They are not deemed the aggressor when they use force to effect an arrest, to overcome resistance or to prevent escape. 835(a) PC. A police officer may only use deadly force to protect themselves, or others from that they reasonably believes would be the imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. I think a reasonable person would conclude that a 10″ knife is easily capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. I think a reasonable person would conclude that a man brandishing a 10″ knife, coming at them, especially armed police officers who are readily capable of defending themselves, would constitute a reasonable belief the man intended to cause them imminent death or great bodily injury.

Elwood January 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

@ straight and narrow #74

” I wonder how Richmond PD, Oakland PD, or SF PD would have dealt with the situation.”

Same result. Dead perp.

ChampagneKitty January 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM

to Leni #104–because the case is still under investigation.

Anon January 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I really wish people would people would stop saying the whole “shoot them in the leg” bs. This isn’t tv. There are major arteries all over your body. Put a hollow point bullet through them and guess what you will bleed to death.

Not before you can plunge a knife into a cop but you still die.

#92 “Vested” please tell me you are not stupid enough to think that bullet proof vests will stop blades. I will hope you meant “experienced.” That being said why the hell should a cop risk death to go into hand to hand combat with a guy armed with a knife? Have you ever been in a fight before? People like you who stand back and expect the police to act like super heroes really need to get off their asses and take a martial arts class. You will find that despite how easy it looks on tv fighting people in real life isn’t a lot of fun.

The only person that I have a lower opinion of is the scumbag lawyer who is already thinking of how to cash in.

J. January 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM
Bellow the waist January 8, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Why couldn’t the officer shoot him below the waist or even in the torso? A non-fatal shot would’ve demobilized him and he would have survived. None the less, he would’ve gone to jail for a very long time I’m sure with a bad injury, but at least he would’ve survived. A kill shot was not necessary. I can understand, ok, he’s coming at me with a big knife, a taser may not be effective to stop him, but he did not need to shoot and kill him, the shot could’ve been non-fatal very easily. Heck, its harder to shoot someone in a spot that will kill them than one that they’ll survive. This situation could’ve been easily avoided and this officer should definetaly be discharged from the force and not allowed to own a gun for the rest of his life. FTP! out.

Walnut Creek Resident January 8, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Yes number 111. Life is not anything to people anymore. You can tell when you are driving among these savages.. People just do not care who dies anymore. Why would you want to kill this poor guy… they could have wounded him by shooting him in the legs or lower torso.. I am sorry for the
officer who killed him… He is going to live with that.

old concord January 9, 2013 at 1:14 AM

It still come down to the officer’s training. This is how they are trained and there for justifide in there shootings. We wanted our police to have all the tools to fight crime and gave them great freedoms and wepons. The training is old and flawed. We now have almost total control of people by the police.

Travis Bickle January 9, 2013 at 7:26 AM


Don’t think too long on it. People like you, WCR, Straight and Narrow don’t have the sack to do the job anyway. Just go on wringing your hands and pissing your pants.

Travis Bickle January 9, 2013 at 7:41 AM

How about all of you critics of police officers ask yourself this question. If the officers had responded to a domestic dispute involving you and a disturbed individual, and as the officers arrived that individual was charging you with a ten inch knife, would you want the officers to stop the threat, or should they shoot to wound, thereby giving your attacker the opportunity to get to you with the knife?

Steve January 9, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Wow – the self-proclaimed “experts” are showing their faces…….

@Bellow the Waist #111 – Officers are taught/trained to shoot to STOP the threat. How is that done? By shots to center mass until the threat is stopped. Since adrenaline is pumping during a deadly force encounter, attempting to shoot at other than center mass will result in misses. Using force other than deadly force (taser, OC, pepperball, less-than-lethal/rubber ball, etc…) will not necessarily work if the BG is on some type of drugs. But in a deadly force encounter, you DO NOT HAVE TIME TO MAKE THOSE KINDS OF DECISIONS! How do you KNOW a gut shot would have “demobilized” him if he was on PCP or similar drug? You state” its harder to shoot someone in a spot that will kill them than one that they’ll survive” – WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! What evidence do you have to support your assertion? That’s why they train officers to shoot cewnter mass – to STOP THE THREAT!

@Walnut Creek Resident #112 – Yes, the officer(s) will have to live with that. But see the paragraph above to #111.

@Old Concord #113 – The training is not “old and flawed”. That’s why they are now equipped with tasers, pepperball, OC, less-than-lethal, etc… But it all comes down to the threat at hand and what tools you have at your IMMEDIATE disposal and being able to make a split-second decision without having the luxury of time like you Monday-morning quarterbacks.

@Seriously #32 – beanbags are NOT used in a pistol, only shotguns.

@Ricardoh #76 – In a deadly force situation, officers are taught to stop the threat by shooting at center mass. You’ve been watching too much TV in expecting them to shoot the leg.

@Somebody else #92 – Batons? Against a knife? Then stating that the Irish cops in NY defended themselves against knives (presumably w/o firearms)? Lessee – did we have the same drugs at the turn of the century? Did we have the same lack of respect for authority back then? Why don’t we look at ALL of the differences between that time and now? Then stating that two “vested” patrol officers should have been able to take this guy? Patrol body armor (is, “bullet-proof” vests) do NOT protect an individual against edged weapons. Body armor to protect against knives is MUCH heavier/stiffer. You, sir, obviously have no LE training. My credentials are 25+ years in law enforcement.

@Straight and Narrow #99 – There’s a little bit of difference between 10 years as an attorney (sitting behind a desk, in a law library or a courtroom) and dealing with an unknown situation/BG potentially no drugs. You have SECONDS to react – not hours or days. You do NOT have the luxury to make decisions before having all of the FACTS at hand.

@Pigs #102 – I’m not even gonna dignify your idiocy with a response.

To all of the Monday-morning quarterbacks and self-styled experts… I have a couple of suggestions…..

1. Sign up for one of the Citizen police academies. It’ll give you an idea of what the officers face.

2. Sign up/take the ENTIRE police academy – all 600+ hours along with 400+ hours FTO time, along with taking annual advanced officer/in-service training. It’ll give you a better idea of what the officers face.

3. STOP watching TV and basing your “knowledge” on the old Westerns of shooting the prep in the hand or leg.

4. Hire on with a LE agency as a jailer; or hire on with CDC as a prison guard. Maybe you’ll gain an appreciation as to who they deal with, and you won’t be singing about sunshine and rainbows when you’re on the “tip of the spear.”

5. Get your PhD/MD in psychology/psychiatry and go to work for the CDC at San Quentin, Pelican Bay, Vacaville, Atascadero or other prisons/mental facilities….. See what it’s like to deal with those who are “mentally ill.”

Yes – there needs to be more awareness about mental illness. But officers facing a deadly threat RIGHT NOW do NOT have the luxury of being able to “diagnose” an individual, late at night, charging at them with a knife, yelling, etc… I’d like to see how EACH of you would respond to the threat once you had deigned to truly educate yourselves….. and not just respond with the feel-good/touchy-feely attitudes so prevalent in society.

Education – try it……

Mars January 9, 2013 at 9:16 AM

“Shoot him in the foot” lol! You people are rediculous

@itsaninsidejob – some times that is not an option. Banta was going to kill an officer with a knife. Trying to tackle him or any other non-lethal force just isn’t in option in those 2 or 3 seconds you have until he sinks that knife into your stomach.

The wcpd have a good track record don’t ya think? All these years with only 3 or 4 officer involved shootings, all the other instances they were able to tase an use other options. They have guns for a reason, if there was ALWAYS a non-lethal option they’d just carry mace and tasers. Some times using your gun is just the reality of the job and the reality of staying alive when a psychotic individual is attempting to murder you.

Parsnip January 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

@Walnut Creek Resident #112 — “they could have wounded him by shooting him in the legs or lower torso.”

That’s why to everyone’s good fortune muffin heads like you never become cops. People don’t fire back with wounded “legs” or their “lower torso.”

Don't Censor Me Bro January 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

@ Steve #116 — Kudos/Good post!

Don't Censor Me Bro January 9, 2013 at 12:48 PM

@S&N #99 — You don’t note if you are a criminal law attorney — at any rate,

It is just as plausible that the PD has sufficient training, or we can “Assume?”

Know what I mean?

AGAIN: You do not disagree that the bottom line is when it comes to split second desicion making, in life and death situations, police find themselves in a very unique position, or do yout?.

RickC January 9, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I don’t believe this man had to die. Why do multiple officers have to take multiple shots when one shot might have sufficed? Where was he shot (top of stairs, half way down, bottom of stairs)? How many stairs were there? Why aren’t the witnesses talking? Why does it take two weeks to get the story from WCPD? We want all of the facts. I say put a Go Pro video recorder on every public officer.

Big Al January 9, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Stop resisting,Stop resisting,open up boys,empty your police issued mags full of hollow point jackeded rounds.One shot,no problem.Police sickness.

@RickC January 9, 2013 at 7:23 PM

You’re right. The officers should have to call it (I got this one, Joe!) and then if they miss three shots, the next officer can try, and so on. Gotta give the knife-wielding violent perps a sporting chance, right?

Dennis January 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Who cares? Why are you so concerned for the “rights” of the suspect, but willing to discard the “rights” of the persons who have to subdue him? Do you think that police should be issued feather dusters instead of handguns, to give the violent criminals a “sporting chance” or a “fair fight”? What about our rights, as citizens and members of society (including police) to protect ourselves from the violent ones who attack us? Do you really believe that person’s right to life trumps the right to life of everyone else present?

OIC … you’ve never been in that situtation. If you had, you wouldn’t be alive to whine at us.

Anon January 9, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Leftist want to get wasted and behave as insane as possible and as soon as it stops being fun for the little sadists they want to call out “I’m done” and have an officer drive them home.

Thank goodness for natural selection.

Steve January 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM

@RickC #121 – you “sir”, need to read my previous post #116. I will NOT re-explain ANYTHING to some idiot who can’t read what’s already been posted…..

The only way YOU’LL get all of the facts is if you’re doing the investigation. So go siddown and blow some sunshine, unicorns and rainbows outta your azzz.

RickC January 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Wow it seems I have pulled some heart strings. I have GOOD experience with combat sports and know full well what one shot will usually do. Circumstances would be different if he had a gun instead of a knife. I won’t mence words when I say this man was murdered. Here is the way WCPD does it…Keep shooting, keep shooting

@ RickC January 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Playing Halo on Xbox does not make you an expert and combat is not a sport. By your very words I can tell you have never been in a firefight since in combat you shoot until the threat is down and then you assess. No one who has ever been in a firefight shoots one round, and waits to see if it worked. That is now you get dead.

You are a poser and a bad one at that.

Anon January 10, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Sweet Jesus he means paintball.

And it’s “mince words,” finish school then comment.

RickC January 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

OK, it is obvious that there are law enforcement officers here who are not man enough to even use their first name and who prefer to hide behind a Anonymous moniker to defend the actions of their jackboot brothers who murder in the name of public safety. If the facts show that shooting Banta multiple times by multiple officers was justified I will stand down, but it looks a little too fishy and the public should question whether this death was justifiable and why it takes two weeks to issue a police statement.

@ RickC January 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I will try to explain this to you as simply as possible. In Contra Costa County they have a Officer Involved death or great bodily injury Protocol which every police agency and the District Attorney agrees to follow. When the protocol is initiated, one senior Deputy District Attorney and a group of District Attorney Investigators respond. 1 Inspector is teamed up with 1 detective from the venue agency. If the venue agency is small the DA will call in detectives from other agencies to help out the venue agency. The DA’s Office becomes the lead investigative unit and conducts a criminal investigation to see if the officer(s) violated the law. The venue detectives conducts a criminal investigation into the original call for service that led to the death or serious injury. A third Internal Affairs investigation is usually conducted either simultaneously but usually later to determine if the officers actions violated department policies. While interviews are being conducted crime scene investigators are photographing, collecting evidence, sketching the scene, conducting ballistic tests, working out trajectory etc. The Coroner is conducting an autopsy and toxicology tests. Even in a contained crime scene like a single family house it can take a week(s) to coordinate interviews of the involved and neighbors (each side, front and back and several across the street) now multiply that by an high density apartment complex and you can see how long it might take to interview everyone who might have information. Once you’re done interviewing people think about writing your reports, getting each one approved and times that by the number of number of investigators and the separate investigations. Not to mention crime and killing didn’t stop in the county simply because there was an officer involved homicide in Walnut Creek. New cases come up that have to be worked while they are fresh and they still have previous case that are just as important as this one to a loved one. Once the investigations are completed, in which each completed independent investigation can easily fill several 5 inch binders they have to be reviewed in total by a Deputy District Attorney.

As part of the protocol the Coroner’s office will hold an inquest to determine the circumstance of this death. It is open to the public and those involved will give sworn testimony. A regular jury of 12 will after hearing testimony and asking questions as needed will determine the mode of death. The inquests are held in the Martinez City Council chambers.

All these things are done to assure the public the involved officers acted within the law.

This is not TV where a crime is solved in one episode. You can either have a thorough investigation or a fast investigation but you cannot have both. .

Robert January 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The average soldier in Afghanistan
or Iraq make way lees than a local
Police officer to put their lives on the
Line. I feel that if it was a serious
Enough situation they should not
Be allowed to their pistol until they
are fired on. A little guy like that
Even with a knife could have been
drawn out side the apartment, witch
I believe they say he was coming down a
stair case, and position themselves
to take him down with less than lethal
force.with good training it’s not that hard.
The comparison with the Military was
to point out that these brave Soldiers
know they could be Killed or at least
injured in the line of duty, and a police
officer should know the same.
In San Jose a Police Officer shot
and killed a barely five foot tall
Woman when she seemed to
come at him and later her deadly
Weapon was a vegetable peeler.
Perhaps our police force should
train more in hand to hand combat
and how take a person down that
way. I think the sleaves of their uniform
shirt should have Kevlar pads to lessen
the damage a knife may cause.
They usually wear BP vests right.
It just seems to me they forget that
Their First job is to protect the Citizens
of the Community, even when a
Citizen may be out of control . Every
Police Officer should know that
his contact with these Citizens is
mostly a crisis situation.
The only thing that I can think of
that’s perfect every time is a
math equation. But I am aware that
these types of thing will still occur.
But perhaps a Lawyer could come up
with a way to indemnify a City against
the results of an Officer to quick to
Shoot first. If a Police Officer knew
He and he alone were responsible
I believe he would be a little more
cautious in His response to a heated
situation. Of course these City’s
And Police Training would meet
Strict training guide lines in order to
be indemnified. But it would be less
Costly in terms money and Human
Life. I don’t want to live with a para
Military presence any more than
Any of us, But the Federal Govt.
Has gotten close to taking over in
Oakland. I don’t know witch is the
More frightening , letting the killings
go on in Oakland or a Federal Mercenary
“Police” force camped at the air port.
If you don’t want Humvees with
30cal or worse patrolling the streets
in our worst cities, than let’s make the
Tough decisions now and take care
Of the whiners later.
And let’s also un teach the concept among
our youth that “snitches get stitches”
That is a bullying technique that goes
back forever,”better not tell or I’ll
beat you up!” It is critical to change
this idea, we are talking about life
and death here, not getting caught
smoking in the bathroom at school.
But until we tackle these issues ,
as I have described we will continue
to read these incredible Headlines.
These Officers are technically
our Employees, so lets give them the
Terms of their Employment, the tools
and more intense training they need
and force their Union to accept
These Employment requirements,
and get to work. If this is to tuff
for them than perhaps some of these
officers should look for another I

@ Robert January 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Seriously, were you dropped on your head as a baby or are you just totally stoned right now?

Anon January 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM


lets make officers personally responsible for their actions not the city.

Here’s how that plays out, officers sit outside and wait for Banta to murder his roommate than wait for him to come outside the next morning once the bath salts have worn off. Then Liberal tools cry piss and moan about why didn’t they try and do something sooner.

I’m sorry you were bullied in school.

Ps How’s banjo practice?

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