WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) — The family of police-shooting victim Miles Hall and the city of Walnut Creek announced a $4 million settlement in their lawsuit. According to John Burris who represents the Hall family, this wasn’t about the dollar amount but how they can work together to prevent the loss of other lives.
In June 2019, 23-year-old Miles Hall suffered a mental episode and his parents called 911 for help. They told dispatchers he was behaving erratically and was carrying a pry bar. The family says that, instead of officers de-escalating the situation, they opened fire.
Officers say Hall was charging at them. Hall’s family says he was just running around the officers.
“What he’s typically done on prior occasions when he was having something like that was run home,” said family attorney John Burris. “What he was trying to do is run home.”
Burris said that, prior to Hall’s death, the family had reached out to police to explain their son’s issues with mental illness.
“The tragedy of all of this is the very thing they were trying to prevent — that is an African American man being killed by the police — in fact did happen because what they tried to get done in terms of procedures was not followed.”
Burris said that what makes this case unusual is what has happened in the aftermath. “From my point of view, I’ve never seen such a collaborative effort so aggressively without a court order,” he said.
Not only has a settlement been reached, Walnut Creek has committed to mental health response and crisis intervention training for the police department. The city of Walnut Creek released a statement saying, “While the City recognizes the continuing loss for the Hall family, it is the city’s sincere hope that settlement of this civil lawsuit will provide a step towards healing.”
Walnut Creek says the settlement is not an admission of liability or fault by city employees. The family will continue to push for a non-police response to mental health crises.