3 Saginaw Police officers disciplined in Hall shooting - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

3 Saginaw Police officers disciplined in Hall shooting

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(09/21/12) - There is new information in the investigation surrounding Milton Hall, a man who was shot to death by Saginaw police this summer.

Three of the six Saginaw police officers involved the shooting are now being disciplined.

One officer was demoted, two reprimanded, but all of the officers, all six, will remain on the Saginaw Police force.

That was the finding by an administrative review task force, which reviewed the actions of those officers on July 1.

"The use of lethal force by a police officer, or police officers, is a very serious situation and never an easy decision to make," is how Interim Saginaw Police Chief Brian Lipe began the news conference.

Saginaw Police officers made that decision back on July 1, shooting Milton Hall, who was asked repeatedly to drop a knife, as he was confronted by police in the Riverview Plaza shopping mall parking lot. The most severe punishment handed down was to the commanding officer on the scene, with interim police chief Lipe saying the officer could have managed the situation more efficiently.

"As result, the on scene supervisor was disciplined yesterday and demoted to the rank of patrolman," Lipe said.

Two other officers were reprimanded for not turning on their in-car audio systems. All six officers will stay on with the Saginaw Police Department.

"The officers will return to full duty," Lipe says.

That did not sit well with everyone in attendance, including some pastors who have been demanding the officers be fired. One pastor even suggested city manager Darnell Earley and other city officials resign. Earley defended the city's decision.

"Without a violation within those policies, there is nothing that you or anybody else can substantiate as it relates to handling these individuals, because it is an employee-employer relationship, and there are rules and guidelines governing that, if I don't follow that, if the mayor and the council don't follow that, get rid of us, get another group in there, they are going to follow it," Earley said.

It does appears Saginaw officers will be getting more training and more equipment in handling a situation like this again.

"With any training and continuing education, there are always gaps, and the right or wrong set of circumstances can turn just one of the gaps into a chasm," says Mayor Greg Branch.

The city is not releasing the names of the officers because they have received death threats. 

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