“We been hurt, been down before / when our pride was low / looking at the world like, where do we go?” — Kendrick Lamar
According to the Portland Press Herald in Maine, “nationally about half of the estimated 375 to 500 people shot and killed by police each year are mentally ill. In many cases, the officers knew from the start that the subjects were unstable.” There remains no national standard for crisis intervention of the mentally ill.
Across the country, U.S. Justice Department investigations have concluded that officers have systematically used unconstitutional force, or engaged in a pattern of using excessive force, against the mentally ill. Unnecessary force by officers has led to deaths in many instances. Last month, 111 people died during police encounters. Those who lost their lives were mostly people of color, mentally ill, or both.
In the video, Hall, 49, is seen standing in a Saginaw, Michigan, parking lot surrounded by eight police officers with their guns drawn and pointed at him. During the short stand-off, a police dog began to growl and lunge toward Hall, who took out a small pocketknife in response. It was when he turned to the dog, the ACLU says, that police showered Hall with a stream of bullets.
The officers fired 46 shots in a matter of seconds, hitting Hall 14 times. Once on the ground, an officer turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on Hall’s back—with “his blood running down the street like water,” Jewel Hall, Milton’s mother, told the ACLU.