Michigan man Milton Hall was killed in 2012 when eight police officers fired 46 shots at his body. Fourteen of the shots hit him. Now, after both the county prosecutor and the Department of Justice declined to press charges against the officers, Hall’s mother is speaking out. The ACLU of Michigan published an interview with the mother, Jewel Hall, on Monday.
Hall described Milton as a community worker with a true passion for helping the disadvantaged.
“Milton took action to ensure and promote equal rights, and that was part of his training that he got from working with Rosa Parks,” Hall says. “He was always addressing institutional racism. I admired him for that.
“Being an avid reader and a researcher, he was knowledgeable about oppression, particularly violence towards poor people, people of color, the homeless and those who struggled with mental illness.”
Milton battled mental illness in his adult life, Hall says, but that never stopped him from living an independent life.
Milton was surrounded by eight police officers and a police dog on the day he was killed. Footage of the shooting shows each officer surrounding Milton with their gun drawn. Milton appears on the footage to be about 20-30 feet away from the officers during the standoff, but a few steps towards them was all it took for officers to fire off 46 shots. 14 of the shots hit him.
Here’s footage of the shooting:
County prosecutors and the Department of Justice declined to press charges against the officers responsible for Milton's death, saying the shooting was not intentional. Hall says the footage proves that to be a ridiculous claim.
“When you have the U.S. government go in and look at Milton's case for four or five months and then come out and say, ‘Well, it wasn't intentional.’ To shoot at somebody 46 times and it wasn't intentional?” Hall says. “It has given me a commitment for the little time that I have left to work with parents whose kids have been similarly killed.”
Hall says police in America have been given de facto impunity on the job.
“What needs to change is how police deal with situations like the one that ended in my son's death,” she says. “The elected leaders and community leaders must address conditions that allow police to use excessive and deadly force with impunity.”