Miami Gardens Police Killed Mentally Ill Man Armed With Broom, Family Claims

Catherine Daniels called Miami Gardens Police Sunday morning with a plea: Her son, a mentally ill man named Lavall Hall, needed help. After she called police, Hall walked out of the house holding a broom.

Daniels never saw her son alive again, because the two Miami Gardens Police officers who responded to her call shot and killed him. Miami Gardens Police officials say Hall attacked the officers with an "object," sparking the deadly confrontation, but Daniels says he was armed only with that broom handle.

According to a release from Miami Gardens PD, officers responded to Daniels' call around 5 a.m. Sunday on a dead-end, residential block of NW 192nd Street just off bustling Second Avenue.

The encounter quickly turned deadly.

"The individual failed to comply with our officers' verbal instructions and, instead, engaged them in a physical altercation using an object," a police spokesman says. "As a result, the individual was shot and subsequently died on scene."

Daniels says her son was disturbed but posed no real threat to the cops.

"I called the police this morning to ask them to please help me with my child," Daniels told CBS 4 shortly after the shooting. "He have a mental problem, and when I went around the corner to help my child, all [the police] had to do was take my child because he got a mental problem, and they killed my child, took my child away from me."

A Miami Gardens PD spokesman hasn't responded directly to those allegations, and police have yet to identify the "object" Hall was holding. The two officers suffered cuts in the confrontation with Hall, police say.

New Times has left a message with the department's spokesman this morning; we'll update this post when we hear back.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink