Video has finally been released in the federal investigation of a July 1, 2012 Michigan incident involving a homeless, mentally ill man who was shot at 47 times by six police officers while wielding a pen-knife.
The dash-cam footage shows six Saginaw police officers shooting down 49-year-old Milton Hall during a confrontation in the parking lot of Riverview Plaza in Saginaw. Hall who is seen standing several yards from officers armed with a penknife was fired at 47 times.
The footage, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union shows a closer look of the killing than the handheld civilian video that initially came out after the incident.
Milton died from his injuries. He was struck with 14 bullets.
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The incident prompted local outcry and a federal investigation.
The ACLU is attempting to apply pressure to the federal government to take another look at Hall’s death. The Department of Justice announced in February that its investigators failed to find “sufficient evidence of willful misconduct” to prosecute the officers. To date no state, local, or federal charges have been filed against the officers.
At an Organization of American States hearing on Monday, ACLU lawyers likened the officers to a “firing squad” and criticized the Justice Department for failing to prosecute them. “[The shooting was] not only reckless, but clearly unjust, and also grossly violated Milton Hall’s human right to life,” one lawyer said.
The hearing, held at the Washington headquarters of the OAS, focused on racially biased policing in the United States, an issue that has drawn international attention since July, when a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Michael Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, said he hopes the hearing will serve “as a wake-up call for the desperate need to address police misconduct against the black citizens of this country.”
Neither the DOJ nor the Saginaw Police Department immediately responded to requests for comment. A DOJ press release from February says investigators examined the dashboard footage, civilian videos and other evidence as part of “a thorough investigation.”
Jewel Hall, the mother of Milton Hall, calls her son’s death at the hands of officers both a “tragedy” and an “assassination.” “He had no idea that those policemen would do that to him,” Hall said. “Justice still has not been served.”