WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Walnut Creek police officers who shot and killed a young man suffering a mental health breakdown in 2019 will not face criminal charges, a source told KTVU.
The source said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton decided against charging the officers in the death of 23-year-old Miles Hall. Becton is expected to make the formal announcement on Friday.
In a statement on Friday, civil rights attorney John Burris said that since Becton won't charge the officers, "the next step for the Hall family will not be an easy one, but it will be to ask California’s new Attorney General, Rob Bonta, and the new AG with the Department of Justice, Merrick Garland, to step in and review this case. We are not finished fighting for justice and accountability in the killing of Miles Hall."
Hall's mother, Taun Hall, said that after waiting 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."
Officers shot Hall in June of 2019 after his family called 911 as he was experiencing a mental health crisis.
According to documents previously released in the fatal incident, responding officers had a well-laid-out plan to address the situation that didn't involve using guns. But they ended up breaking from their plan and shot Miles Hall to death despite their objectives, documents show. Officers said they felt their lives were in danger when they pulled out their weapons.
Hall had been carrying a metal pole, which he wouldn't put down. The family said the pole was a gardening tool that neighbors gave him so he could pull out root vegetables alongside his grandmother. When he was in a schizophrenic state, he believed he was Jesus and the pole was a "staff of God."
The revelations underscore the tension between the danger police feel in dynamic situations and the growing cry to change the way the country handles mental health calls with a non-law enforcement response. That's because even when there are thoughtful plans and training, having guns involved can change the course of the call forever.