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August 16th, 2012
09:35 PM ET

Man killed by cops, shot 30+ times

Three days before Independence Day, Milton Hall died in a fusillade of police gunfire outside a strip mall.

He had been arguing with officers in a parking lot next to a shuttered Chinese restaurant when he was shot, in full view of passing motorists and while he was holding some sort of knife. Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas said later that the squad of police confronting him opened fire "because apparently, at this point in time, he was threatening to assault police."

Thomas' office and the Michigan State Police are investigating Hall's death. Saginaw Police Chief Gerald Cliff said Hall was "known to be an assaultive person" with "a long history" of contacts with law enforcement, "not only with police from our department but with the county."

Hall's cousin, Mike Washington, acknowledged Hall had been jailed for minor offenses like vagrancy in the past, but, "He was not violent." And Hall's mother is growing impatient with the probe and questions why police opened fire so furiously on her son, whom she said was mentally ill.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. scott

    unjustified execution...

    August 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  2. William

    This was a firing squad. Police these days have lost comprehension of the term 'Escalation of Force'. The mother is going to get a big payday at the cost of her son's life by poorly trained cops.

    August 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  3. Kelly

    I and many others in the field of security and public safety are shown training videos such as Edged Weapon Attacks in which you are shown how quickly a person wielding an edged ( sometimes nothing more mundane that a fork) can be upon you and inflict a life threatening injury. The time it takes to close a distance even seemingly as great as 20 feet is incredibly short. That being said after seeing this video this seems to me to be most certainly overkill at the very least and more probably absolutely and totally unnecessary and nothing short of some over zealous officers who should be investigated and charged appropriately.

    August 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  4. John

    Looks like murder to me as well. So many instances of police murder and brutality lately.. you almost have to wonder if they are trying to send citizens a message.. Something like, "Do as I say, not as I do."

    August 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  5. pam g

    this is one of the most horrible stories i have ever heard of. yes, the police today have a very difficult job one that i would not want in this world. however 30 plus shots come on. if they felt the need to shoot this man shoot him in the legs so he falls down. what were they thinking!!!!!! it makes me SICK

    August 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  6. robert

    what happened to the tazer gun or is 6 to one with a knife not good odds pretty sad how these law officials act to situations that require common sence

    August 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  7. Mike Keister

    The REAL injustice will come when the jury acquit them on all charges. Let's not wag our fingers at the cop, history has demonstrated that the CITIZENS also condone this sort of action.

    These "peace officers" will receive nothing more than a couple weeks of paid vacation.

    August 18, 2012 at 6:28 am |
  8. Stefanie Williams

    What the nation needs to know is, not only did he have nothing but a "PLASTIC" knife, but that the incident started at the Marathon gas station with a white female attendant claiming he spit on her. She later changed her story to he spit at her. The attendant yelled at Mr. Hall because he took a wash up in their bathroom. She screamed at him, he screamed back, she had another clerk call the police claiming he spit on her and now he's dead.

    August 18, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  9. Michelle D

    i say that police in this country latley are over abusing their authority stun guns, bean bags, a dog would have been a much better use in this situation its sad this man lost his life 30 shots one cop that close could have even shot this man in a leg or arm just to get him down its un called for and all these officers involved must be brought up on charges and not be aloud to return to duty i would hate to even see what they would of done if he actually had a gun

    August 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  10. JohnMon

    This could have been if avoided if the deceased would have dropped whatever he was holding, whether it was a machete or a popsicle stick, then laid on the ground with his arms and legs spread. When confronted by law enforcement, the ONLY way to react is compliance. If they say stop, you stop. There was no reason for him to approach anyone, to shout, or to even be holding a knife. What was he trying to prove? As for the 30+ rounds fired, what does it matter if the objective was to kill the perpetrator. The police aren't trained to fire one shot at a target and then assess the situation before resuming before they cease fire all together. They are trained to shoot to kill, where in they will keep firing until the target has been rendered a non-threat. Several officers opened fire. This is why there were so many rounds fired. They don't look at one another and say "okay its your turn to shoot this guy". everyone who has weapons drawn will fire simultaneously. Had there been one officer, I'm sure only 3-6 shots would have been fired. Since there were six, well you get the idea. Could law enforcement have handled it a different way? Sure. Could the man have handled himself in a different way? Absolutely. Why are we looking to blame law enforcement?

    August 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  11. Adam F.

    Knife vs 6 guns ?

    This is why we have tasers. You do not shoot a man with a knife thats a solid 20 plus feet away from you. He showed no real threat to the cops.

    Rubber bullet and or taser would have sufficed fine.

    Overkill and unjustified this one.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Elijah

      Look up the 20 ft rule. A person armed with a knife can easily close before stopped withing 20 feet. Some experts are now saying the 20 ft rule is generous. 46 shots is excessive, I agree, but a person armed with a knife is a dangerous, deadly thing. Shooting is justified, that many shots, ridiculous.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Phillip F

      You know, you can go into a lion's cage and complain that the lion used excessive force all you want, but the end result is going to be the same. Do not go into a lion's cage, or you will die. Do not attack armed police officers, or you will die. As a rule, do not threatened any person armed with a gun, or you might die.

      Contrary to what you may think, tasers don't always work, especially when mental illness or drugs are involved. A police officer should not have to risk their own life hoping that it does. Sure, a taser is great when an armed suspect is running away (but not threatening anyone). However, an armed suspect attempting to harm anyone is going to get shot, as he/she should.

      You can keep thinking that life should treat attempted murderers (or victims as you like to think of them) with kid gloves and see how far that gets you. As for me, I'll stick to using common sense.

      August 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Susan Ware

    I am from Saginaw. Milton could be seen in the area of his killing almost any day you drove by. Anyone who spent much time in that area knew him by sight. He never threatened anyone that I heard of or saw. More than once my husband gave him spare change and never felt threatened by him. From what I have heard, he was not even holding a real knife, but a plastic toy knife. Even if it had been a real knife, I don't see why it took that many shots. One shot in the leg could have taken him down. It also seems to me that they coul have tried tazers, which I know they are equipped with.

    August 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  13. Christopher Snyder

    Unfortunately sometimes in the line of Duty an officer will be forced to take critical action against a suspect. however in this case I cant help but to wonder why they threatened the man with the dog, yet chose to open fire and kill the suspect. I believe it goes without saying that the top priority should always be to end a standoff like this without taking the life of another person. I believe that this could have been easily achieved by simply letting the dog loose and let him disarm the suspect as it is trained to do. Then no one would have had any reason to fire of any shots from there firearms. Yet one man is dead, leaving many others asking questions that I fear will never be honestly answered.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  14. Eric Thompson

    When I was young my dad took me to the house of Bruce Moore history repeats

    August 17, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  15. Deseree S

    After watching the video it was clearly evident the shooting was inevitable. Rubber bullets could of been used in place or even bean bags. Such a tragedy could of been avoided.

    August 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  16. Derek

    Looks like cold blooded murder to me!

    August 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm |