Some of the controversy stemming from the killing of Michael Brown is due to the fact that we simply don’t know, and will almost certainly never know, exactly what happened in the final moments of his life. But such is not the case in the killing of Milton Hall, a 49 year old African American man suffering from both mental illness and homelessness.
Two and a half years ago, in July 2012, eight Saginaw Michigan police officers opened fire on Hall in what appears to be a mall parking lot. They fired a collective 46 shots. Hall reportedly had pulled out a pen knife in response to the presence of a police dog at the scene. Watch for yourself.
This is somewhere beyond horrifying. Hall looked to be a good 20-25 feet away from the nearest cop. What is perhaps even more horrifying is that a Justice Department investigation found no evidence of willful misconduct on the part of the police officers involved. What? This is established standard operating procedure in police departments across the country? This is how they’re trained to deal with situations like this?
Something is profoundly wrong here.