Christian Hall, 19, was fatally shot last week by police while being detained for an alleged domestic dispute, sparking a national debate on how officers should treat people who may be mentally ill. Now two videos taken at the scene have surfaced, showing the fatal shooting and the aftermath that followed. The videos have sparked outrage that the police used a taser on Hall twice in an attempt to defuse a dangerous situation, but instead he was shot five times and mortally wounded.
In the first clip, released by the Tyseer Jordan Law Center, an educational clinic based at the University of Kansas, Hall is seen brandishing a folding knife and explaining that he was armed with that and his Glock handgun during the dispute. “I have the wrong person,” he says in the video. In the second video, taken at a nearby convenience store, an officer chases Hall through the parking lot of a McDonald’s, his hands fully raised in the air. Once he comes to a stop, police move toward him, and after they hold a Taser and a baton at the ready, Hall comes to the ground, with his hands in the air. A gun is visible, and a medic appears to assist him, only to see him collapse. His gun, however, remains on the ground, suggesting to his friends on the phone that the gun was never presented to police.
Following the announcement of the police shooting, Christians and other relatives have claimed they were fed false information from police to justify the deadly force. Those claims are difficult to corroborate given the number of lies that have already been told publicly, including one report that claimed Hall had been hallucinating and was pacing in the parking lot. Speaking to NBC News, Sarah King, who identified herself as Hall’s aunt, blamed police for his death, saying, “I told them … there were people in the car. There were people … children. Please don’t shoot him. He never got a chance to say anything … [The police] didn’t care if he said he wasn’t going to do anything. They came in screaming, ‘Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot him!’”
At the same press conference, Grant Robinson, a member of a local community group, said that he became convinced that police had killed Hall because, “He didn’t have a weapon, he didn’t have a gun.” Asked by reporters about King’s assertion that police lied, Robinson agreed: “If somebody actually shot at your child, and your kid didn’t have a gun, or didn’t have a weapon, somebody’s lying.”
Police are still investigating the shooting. No one was charged in connection with the domestic disturbance, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Read the full story at The Guardian and NBC News.
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