Two Walnut Creek police officers will not face charges in the fatal shooting of a young mentally ill man in 2019, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday.
The family of Miles Hall, 23, who was shot to death by the officers during a domestic incident June 2, 2019, made the news public late Thursday night, and it was confirmed in a DA's office report Friday that "no charges will be filed against any officer involved in this shooting," citing insufficient evidence.
Hall's family held a rally Friday afternoon and attorney John Burris, who represents the family, held a news conference afterwards both at Walnut Creek City Hall. Taun Hall said on Friday that she’s not about to give up on her fight for justice for her son Miles Hall.
But the district attorney says the officers feared for their lives when Hall ran toward them with a gardening tool.
"He was running in the general direction of them. He was carrying the black digging tool and he wasn’t listening to their commands to drop the tool and to stop," said Scott Alonso, Contra Costa District Attorney's Office Spokesman.
The shooting occurred in a residential neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon in 2019 after Hall's grandmother called 911 to report Hall had threatened her, according to police. Minutes later, Hall's mother called police also saying he threatened her, and she told them about his mental illness.
Responding officers found Hall walking along a nearby street carrying a crowbar, and police said he refused to listen to commands to drop the crowbar. He then charged at officers, police said.
Bean bag rounds were fired at Hall first but had little to no effect, which resulted in two officers firing their handguns at Hall, police said. Hall was then taken to a hospital, where he later died.
The city of Walnut Creek released a statement Friday, saying in part the city and police department have committed to expanding mental health services and increasing police training in mental health crises.
"The past two years have been painful for our community, and we grieve the loss of Miles each day," Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk said. "Mental health is one of our society’s most serious crises and we must do whatever we can to provide immediate help to those who need it most. We will continue to work with the community to do whatever possible to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again in Walnut Creek, and in the meantime we hope that all viewpoints are shared peacefully."
In September, the city of Walnut Creek agreed to a $4 million settlement with Hall's family, who said the money is being invested into the Miles Hall Foundation to push for changes in how police deal with people who have mental health crises.
The city said in a statement the settlement was approved to avoid further litigation and did not admit fault in the incident.
But friends and family think otherwise. Taun Hall said that she had ongoing contact with the department about his mental health struggles and that officers even arrived with a plan that didn’t involve deadly force.
“If you don’t follow a plan, you don’t execute the plan you execute my son who is the victim. It’s set up for tragedy,” she said. “He was clearly trying to get around them they turned to shoot him down left to right like an animal in the street it’s unacceptable.”
The family said they now plan to take the case to the state attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice. They’re also pushing for mental health crisis teams to replace police for mental health.
Bay City News contributed to this report.