Lavall Hall's Family to Release Video of Miami Gardens Officers Killing Mentally Ill Man
Lavall Hall's family contends he was unarmed and not a threat to police when he was fatally shot.
Update: The video doesn't directly show Hall's shooting, but records an officer yelling "Get on the fucking ground or you're dead!" just before the fatal shots.
The nation's eyes this morning have turned to South Carolina, where a white police officer has been charged with murder for fatally shooting an unarmed black man. The charges came only after a video emerged to contradict the officer's story that the suspect had been threatening him with the cop's Taser. In fact, he'd been running away when he was shot in the back.
Later today, a Miami Gardens family will release an unedited video of a deadly police shooting that may have a similar effect locally. The 19-minute video will show how Lavall Hall, an unarmed man with schizophrenia, was killed by Miami Gardens Police in February, a family attorney says.
Miami Gardens PD quickly and loudly defended the killing. The shooting happened February 15 after Hall's mother called 911 because her son was having an episode and needed help. According to police, when they showed up, Hall repeatedly attacked officers and later tried to assault them with a metal broom handle. Tasers had no effect, police say, so they shot the 25-year-old.
But Hall's family has disputed that narrative from the get-go. His mother says police should have known about her son's mental illness because they had responded to problems at the home in the past. The family soon filed a lawsuit against the department.
Even without a video, the police version of events has come under increasing fire in recent weeks. First, the department's police chief, Stephen Johnson, who had been the most vocal defender of his officers' actions, was caught soliciting a prostitute and fired.
More recently, neighbors and witnesses to the shooting have questioned whether Hall brandished a metal broomstick.
Today's video, presumably, will answer many of those questions. Will the footage have an effect as dramatic as the new evidence in South Carolina, where 33-year-old Officer Michael T. Slager now faces murder charges?
We'll update this post when the video is available. The Halls' attorney, Glen Goldberg, plans to release the footage at 1 p.m.
Update 1:47 p.m.: In the video shown to reporters this afternoon, Hall's shooting occurs outside the frame. He's seen early in the video with a broom, according to reporters at the conference, but it's not clear from the video exactly what happened before the shooting. We'll update with the video itself when it's available to embed.
Update 2:11 pm: Here's unedited the footage from the conference by CBS4.
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