DETROIT — Police in Michigan repeatedly shot a mentally ill man in a parking lot as traffic passed in broad daylight. Weeks later, his family and others in Saginaw are still waiting for an explanation of why officers chose to use deadly force.
They have become angrier since the release of video that shows Milton Hall collapsing in a hail of gunfire on July 1. The video, taken on a witness’s cellphone the day of the shooting and later obtained and aired by CNN, shows police confronting Hall in a parking lot of a shopping center and ordering him to drop a knife. It’s not clear if he followed the order.
The confrontation happened during the day, and the video shows cars going by on a busy street as police open fire. Hall’s mother said Tuesday that she won’t watch it.
“It’s very hard to understand,” said Jewel Hall, of Rio Rancho, N.M. “It’s barbaric, unbelievable.”
The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Michigan State Police are investigating the shooting in Saginaw, 100 miles north of Detroit. Six officers who were at the scene have been assigned to other police work while Hall’s death is reviewed.
“The sooner this is done, the sooner we can address the conclusions. Unfortunately, we don’t control that,” said Phil Ludos, an assistant city manager who oversees public safety. “The longer this drags out, the longer the tensions and the questions.”
Hall, 49, was a Saginaw native who spent some teen years in Albuquerque, N.M. He attended Knoxville College in Tennessee before transferring to the University of New Mexico. He didn’t graduate.
Jewel Hall, a retired teacher, said her son received federal disability benefits because of a mental illness. She described him as “nomadic” and a “free spirit,” who was well-known by police and others in Saginaw
Read more about this story at Huffington Post