A Mother’s Mission: The Shooting of Milton Hall
Published on Oct 27, 2014
Police officers in Saginaw, MI fired more than 45 shots at Jewel Hall’s son Milton. Despite abundant evidence that officers showed a reckless disregard for Milton’s life, the U.S. Justice Department did not charge any of the officers responsible for the killing.
In Washington D.C., the ACLU of Michigan is playing Jewel Hall’s testimony at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on “Reports of Racism in the Justice System of the United States.” Learn more at http://www.aclumich.org/MiltonHall
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jewel Hall conducted by the ACLU of Michigan about the killing in 2012 of her son Milton by eight police officers. Parts of her interview appear in the video below, which also includes footage of the police killing Milton. Today the ACLU of Michigan is presenting this video at a hearing about racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the Organization of American States. The county prosecutor declined to bring charges against the officers involved, and earlier this year, the Department of Justice also declined to bring charges against them. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Milton was a homeless, mentally ill African-American man, who was born on April 25, 1963, in Saginaw, Michigan. He was a community worker, and he was always there speaking out for those whom he considered the weak, for those who did not have the strength to speak for themselves.
He had a mental disability that became apparent as a young adult, from when he was probably 24 or 25. But in spite of this, he lived his life independently and with freedom.
He managed his own affairs, and that I supported and understood.
As long as he was on his medication and all, he did fine. It was when he wasn’t on his medication that he was impatient. He’d sometimes become intolerant. But when he was on his medication, he maintained.
He always would say everybody has equal rights. That was one of his songs that he sang all the time. So he exposed violations and campaigned for redress for people that he thought were victims.
Milton took action to ensure and promote equal rights, and that was part of his training that he got from working with Rosa Parks. 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.
For him to be shot at 46 times and hit 14 times by all white policemen, it really raised questions in my mind. How they circled him and assassinated him. One policeman, after he was on the ground, turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on his back.
His blood running down the street like water. And he wasn’t a threat, I mean, he had a little pen knife. He had no idea that those policemen would do that to him.
To have eight people stand in front of one human being and shoot at him 46 times and hit him 14 times – it’s been devastating to our family. It was devastating to the community, to everybody. And justice still has not been served.
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? It has given me a commitment for the little time that I have left to work with parents whose kids have been similarly killed.
What needs to change is how police deal with situations like the one that ended in my son’s death. The elected leaders and community leaders must address conditions that allow police to use excessive and deadly force with impunity.
If you watch this video and listen to this mother, and don’t feel her pain and sorrow coupled with helplessness in an AmeriKKKa that believe Black lives don’t matter, you are either racist, numb to reality or a caucasian.
Footage shows homeless black man Milton Hall being shot at 46 times by police in the US
Graphic footage has emerged showing a homeless man being shot and killed by police in the US who fired a barrage of 46 bullets as he held a penknife.
Milton Hall, who was mentally ill, was surrounded by eight officers training their guns in a shopping centre car park in Saginaw, Michigan, in July 2012.
The 49-year-old had been arguing with police after an alleged altercation with a shop assistant for several minutes and the video shows him refusing an officer’s demand to put down the knife.
After a tense stand-off, he appeared to step forward and police opened fire.The footage, taken by a bystander, shows Mr Hall fall down almost immediately and lie unmoving on the ground.
He had been shot 14 times.
As he lies bleeding, the officers are seen attempting to handcuff his lifeless arms and dragging his body along the ground, with one officer appearing to kick his back.
Shocked onlookers can be heard shouting at police after the shooting, with one asking: “Why did they have to shoot him so many times?”.
The death of Mr Hall, who was black, at the hands of white police officers sparked protests and calls for the police who shot him to face criminal charges.
But the county prosecutor and Department of Justice declined to bring charges against them, accepting the that the action was justified in the face of what they felt was a threat.
Mr Hall was “known” to authorities for committing previous offences, a police spokesperson said at the time, but his family said he had only committed minor, non-violent crimes.
His mother, Jewel Hall, described her son’s death as “an assassination”, by a “firing squad dressed in uniforms”.
In an interview with the American Civil Liberties Union, who released the latest footage, she said Mr Hall fought for equal rights and worked with Rosa Parks, the famous civil rights activist whose refusal to give up her seat for a white bus passenger in 1955 was one of the key events in the civil rights movement.
“His blood [was] running down the street like water,” Mrs Hall said. “And he wasn’t a threat, I mean, he had a little pen knife.
“He had no idea that those policemen would do that to him…justice still has not been served.”
Mrs Hall is now working with other families bereaved by police shootings and campaigning for changes to laws governing the police use of “deadly force”.
The words escape me when it come to comprehending how human beings can treat another human beings in this manner. Unarmed or not, hell Milton Hall could have been holding an AK-47, just like the Aurora theater shooter was holding, does he deserve to be shot at 46 times being hit a total of 14 times for holding a penknife? Just so you know, the Aurora theater shooter, James Eagan Holmes, was not shot or shot at…..after massacring 12 people and injuring 70 others. James Eagan Holmes dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms. But Mr. Holmes was caucasian. And mentally ill. Mentally ill exactly as was Mr. Milton Hall.
Mr. Holmes was arrested and NOT FIRED UPON. Mr. Holmes is caucasian. Mr. Hall WAS Black.
And yet, our twice dully elected President Of The United States, Barack Hussein Obama, is more concerned with hugging nurses who have overcome the Ebola virus than addressing this epidemic of racist caucasian law enforcement “professionals” executing unarmed Black males. We Have NOT Overcome.
If Barack were running for dog catcher, he’d NOT get my vote. The administration AND The Department Of Justice are a joke.
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