No charges will be brought against two Walnut Creek, California, police officers who fatally shot a 23-year-old Black man in June 2019.
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office announced Friday it had concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the two officers who shot Miles Hall, whose family has said he was in the midst of a mental health episode.
Hall’s mother, Taun Hall, expressed her disappointment in a statement Friday, saying, “After nearly two long years of waiting anxiously for the conclusion of what we had hoped would be a thorough, unbiased, factually accurate investigation, we learned that there will be no justice and no accountability for the indefensible actions that resulted in our son’s death — at least not today.”
An attorney for Hall’s family, John Burris, said their next step would be to ask California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the US Justice Department to “step in and review this case.”
“We are not finished fighting for justice and accountability in the killing of Miles Hall,” Burris said.
CNN previously reported four of the five people who called 911 on the day of the shooting told dispatchers Hall had mental health problems, according to recordings released by police at the time.
According to the account of events outlined in a statement from the district attorney’s office Friday, police responded June 2, 2019, after they received emergency calls about a disturbance at the Walnut Creek home where Hall lived.
One call was made by one of Hall’s family members, the DA’s statement said, followed by neighbors and another witness.
Responding officers “were aware of a previous incident where Mr. Hall had brandished a knife at Walnut Creek police officers, and they used less than lethal force to take him into custody for a mental health hold,” the statement said.
Hall, who was reportedly carrying a “black steel digging tool” when police arrived, refused commands by the officers to drop the tool, the district attorney’s statement said. Hall then ran toward the officers, the statement said, and one officer fired bean bag rounds at Hall in an effort to stop him.
But “Mr. Hall continued to run in the officer’s direction despite being hit with less than lethal force,” the statement said. It was at this point that two officers “discharged their department issued handguns at Mr. Hall. Ultimately, Mr. Hall was struck by four rounds and fell to the ground.”
Officers restrained Hall and attempted first aid, but he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, the district attorney’s statement said.
The city of Walnut Creek reached a $4 million settlement with the Hall family last year. And while Hall’s mother said it did not constitute justice for her son, it would allow the family to focus on its work on the Miles Hall Foundation, through which they have pushed for a reformed response to mental health emergencies.
“Justice will be when we are able to have a non-police response for the mentally ill, at least here to start in Contra Costa County,” Taun Hall said at the time. “And then, it could be something… throughout the nation.”
In a Friday news release from the city, Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk said the “past two years have been painful for our community.”
“Mental health is one of our society’s most serious crises and we must do whatever we can to provide immediate help to those who need it most,” Wilk said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the community to do whatever possible to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again in Walnut Creek, and in the meantime we hope that all viewpoints are shared peacefully.”
The release said that in the months after the shooting, the police department purchased a “significant number of less-lethal devices” as well as enhanced body cameras.