A Mother’s Mission: The Shooting of Milton Hall (NSFW)

October 29, 2014

posted by Crane-Station

 

Police officers in Saginaw, MI fired more than 45 shots at Jewel Hall’s son Milton. Even after Milton Hall fell to the ground and was dying, the police continued firing. Despite abundant evidence that officers showed a reckless disregard for Milton’s life, the U.S. Justice Department did not charge any of the officers responsible for the killing.

In Washington D.C., the ACLU of Michigan is playing Jewel Hall’s testimony at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on “Reports of Racism in the Justice System of the United States.” Learn more at http://www.aclumich.org/MiltonHall.

Unedited dashcam footage:

In March 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice declined to file federal charges against the Saginaw police officers who shot and killed Milton Hall because they claimed “this tragic event does not present sufficient evidence of willful misconduct to lead to a federal criminal prosecution.” To prosecute the officers, it is necessary to prove not only that Hall’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the use of excessive force, but also that the officers “willfully” set out to deprive him of those rights.

“As a civilian, Mr. Hall had every right to expect that the police would protect his life, but instead, he was the target of what resembled in many ways a firing squad,” says ACLU of Michigan Racial Justice Project attorney Mark Fancher, who testified today at the IACHR hearing on “Reports of Racism in the Justice System of the United States. “The government cannot act as if the life of a homeless black man has no value. Saginaw deserves justice not only for Milton Hall, but for the entire community that has been devastated by this inexplicable act of police violence.”

 


Did Jesus Huerta, 17, kill himself or did police kill him? EDITED BELOW

December 22, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good Evening:

How is it possible to shoot yourself in the head while seated in the back seat of a police cruiser with your wrists cuffed behind your back after you were searched for weapons and none were found?

Chief Jose Lopez of the Durham Police Department in Durham, NC says Jesus Huerta, 17, did that after being arrested on an outstanding warrant for second-degree trespassing issued last July.

Here’s Chief Lopez,

Chief Lopez said Huerta was searched by police prior to the shooting incident and the weapon was not detected. He said it remains unclear where the teen had the weapon.

“I know that it is hard for people not in law enforcement to understand how someone could be capable of shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back,” Lopez said. “While incidents like this are not common, they unfortunately have happened in other jurisdictions in the past.”

CNN recently reported,

The chief said at the news conference that gunshot residue tests were conducted on Huerta and the arresting officer, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation “found that Huerta was wearing gloves and that his gloves had a saturation of gunshot residue on it. Officer Duncan’s revealed that he had no gunshot residue on his hands,” Lopez said.

I am not impressed by the gunshot-residue evidence since he probably removed Huerta’s gloves when he handcuffed him. He could have put the gloves on, fired the shot, and replaced the gloves on Huerta’s hands or he could have fired the shot and used Huerta’s gloves to wipe the residue from his hands.

I do not believe Huerta somehow managed to conceal the gun so that the officer missed it during the search before he was handcuffed and placed in the cruiser.

Officers go rogue sometimes and when they do, they carry all sorts of things like a small quantity of crack or powder cocaine and the occasional firearm to throw down on a suspect with a prior felony conviction or someone they decide to kill.

Huerta’s family, friends and supporters are calling bullshit and demanding a federal investigation into the shooting. Demonstrations in downtown Durham have turned violent with demonstrators accusing police of police brutality and police accusing demonstrators of throwing rocks and bottles.

Police arrested at least six people last Thursday night.

The demonstrators have vowed to march through downtown on the 19th of each month until they get answers and justice is done.

The case is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigators, but no report has been issued.

(h/t to Wendy Davis at Firedoglake for informing me about this matter)

EDIT: Upon reflection, I have deleted the last sentence, which erroneously asserted that Durham police had killed three civilians since July including Huerta, because it was erroneous and replaced it with the following:

According to CNN:

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has looked into three deaths in five months involving Durham police officers, and two of those killed were Latinos, according to CNN affiliate WRAL.

I apologize for the error.


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