Saginaw community turns to city leaders, speaks out about police - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw community turns to city leaders, speaks out about police shooting of homeless man

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(07/09/12) - Was a homeless man's death excessive force or a justified shooting?

Monday, emotions ran high at the Saginaw City Council meeting, as the community looks for answers on a deadly police shooting.

It happened July 1 in the parking lot of Saginaw's Riverview Plaza.

Police say they were forced to shoot 49-year-old Milton Hall, because he had a weapon and was acting aggressive toward officers.

But almost 50 shots were fired, and Monday, some questioned the officers' actions.

"This man was gunned down like a dog," said Earl Jesse of Saginaw.

Police say it was in self defense because he had a knife, but witnesses say it didn't have to go to that extreme.

Monday, the community turned to city leaders, and their message to the council and police: They are fed up and want action and answers.

"I'm not going to nickname this, I'm going to call it what it was and what it is," said Ajhani Owusu, who saw the shooting happen. "It's murder."

"What we want to see is the justice system work fairly," said Pastor Robert Davis, Jr. of Christ Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

"Make sure you do justice as you work on this issue, we are watching, we will be acting as well, and we will be back," said Former Saginaw Mayor Joyce Seals.

An ABC12 investigation found that the recording equipment typically used during incidents like this wasn't working properly the day of the shooting.

"The investigation is being handled by the Michigan State Police and Mr. Thomas, our prosecutor. Until then, we just really don't have all the facts, it wouldn't be right to comment without all the facts," said Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Browning.

The six officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave.

Milton Hall was laid to rest last week.

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