Walnut Creek Police recently released footage and the 911 call that lead to what has become a controversial shooting near San Francisco. In June, police shot and killed a 23-year-old man who was wielding a 5-foot steel bar and appeared to be charging officers. However, the suspect, Miles Hall, suffered from mental illness, which lead to outcry from the family and public.
The original 911 call lets officers know the suspect suffers from mental illness. Yet it also paints a picture of a dangerous suspect. “I’m sorry, he just came into my room and threatened me. … Miles, my grandson, is having a mental health breakdown.” Those words were spoken by the suspect’s grandmother during the 911 call, according to sfchronicle.com. During the call, the suspect tells his grandmother she “better not be calling another f—ing police officer,” according to sfchronicle.com.
“The release of the footage and phone calls come more than a week after the Hall family filed a wrongful death claim against the Walnut Creek Police Department, alleging that officers were negligent in how they responded to a mental health call,” reported sfchronicle.com.
Walnut Creek Police Vindicated
However, that released footage arguably paints quite another picture. The suspect clearly ignores multiple commands to stop. But instead he charges toward the officers’ position wielding a huge steel bar. It measured 5-feet long and weighed 15 pounds. Additionally, prior to any gunshots, officers first deployed less lethal tactics.
The first words heard in the audio of the police body cam footage is “Bean bag, bean bag … stop!” Then another officer deploys a less-lethal-only pump-action shotgun, firing 3-4 bean bag rounds, but to no effect. They don’t slow the suspect down at all. That’s when Walnut Creek officers opened fire on the suspect.
“The members of our police department are deeply saddened by this incident,” said Walnut Creek Police Chief Tom Chaplin, as reported by mercurynews.com. “Our officers train regularly to avoid using force and to de-escalate volatile and violent situations. It’s my hope that releasing this information will help the community understand the events that took place.”