No criminal charges will be filed against officers - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

No criminal charges will be filed against officers in Milton Hall shooting

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(09/12/12) - After a 10-week investigation, Wednesday, we finally learned that no criminal charges will be filed against the six Saginaw Police Officers who were involved in the shooting death of homeless man, Milton Hall.

It's a case that has sparked controversy and outrage throughout the community - even making national headlines.

A news conference was held Wednesday with Prosecutor Thomas and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

"Police officers put their lives on the line for us every day and are forced to make split second decisions to defend the public and themselves," said an attorney general office spokesperson.

Shortly after Prosecutor Thomas released his findings, Milton Hall's mother released the following statement. It says, in part: "I am disappointed in the Prosecutor's report, finding that the actions of the six Saginaw police officers who so brutally shot and killed my son, Milton Hall, were justified." It goes on to say, "If there is any benefit to come from Milton's tragic death, we would hope that it would be to raise awareness of the challenges confronting the Saginaw Police Department and Saginaw elected officials."

It was back on July 1 that police were called to the Riverview Plaza. They were responding to a call that a man, later identified as Milton Hall, had a run-in with a worker at a nearby gas station.

Six Saginaw Police officers were there, as well as a K-9 officer. Those officers said Hall had a knife, and acted aggressively toward them.

Hall was shot, and later died at the hospital.

On July 2, police identified Hall. We learned he was a 49-year-old homeless man who had been arrested multiple times and spent some time in jail.

We also learned he had been treated for mental illness.

On that day, ABC12 was also told by then-police-chief Gerald Cliff, that the officers involved were on their regularly scheduled day off, and had not been put on any type of leave, just yet.

Just four days later, ABC12 reported that the officers had fired at Hall 46 times, and that while investigators had some video of the incident, most of the high-tech audio and video equipment on the officers and their cars didn't work properly.

By this point, the officers had been put paid administrative leave.

That same day, Milton Hall's family said goodbye to him. Hall's mother, Jewel, came from New Mexico for his funeral.

Three days later, concerned city residents showed up at Saginaw City Council demanding answers. A member of city council questioned why the police officers' equipment wasn't working.

On July 11, new details surfaced. ABC12 learned that while officers had shot at Hall 46 times, he was only hit 10 to 12 times.

The case remained quiet for a couple of weeks while the Michigan State Police and the prosecutor continued to investigate.

Then on July 27, the first of several protests, rallies and forums. A group of concerned pastors held a news conference, saying they were outraged and wanted change in the city.

On Aug. 2, just over a month since Hall's death, the six officers involved returned to work, on desk duty, within the Police Department.

O Aug. 6, another protest was held. This time, in front of police headquarters, with demands the officers be put back on administrative leave.

On Aug. 16, the case gained national attention when CNN aired cell phone video of Hall's shooting. CNN paid for the video. The next day, it was made available to other media outlets.

On Aug. 23, an attorney working on behalf of Hall's estate, planned to file a lawsuit. That attorney said Hall was not an imminent threat to police the day of the shooting.

Within the past several weeks, the Reverend Jesse Jackson came to Saginaw to protest Hall's shooting and called on the community to end the violence.

And just this past weekend, the Reverend Al Sharpton rallied with community members at Borchard Park. Their chant was 'no justice, no peace'.

That brings us to Wednesday, Sept. 12, when we learned that no criminal charges will be filed against the six Saginaw Police Officers who were involved in the shooting.

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