A video has been released showing five Fontana police officers, guns drawn, cornering a mentally ill man before fatally shooting him. The incident took place on November 22, 2015 however, the video was just released this week to the family. James Hall, 47, who was legally blind and mentally ill, was at the back of a convenience store before a police officer opened fire on him, killing him.
The surveillance images seem to contradict the officer's account that Hall was in possession of a knife and advancing towards them. Hall seems to have shifted his weight between two soda fountains before being fatally shot. Attorney Mark Geragos stated “It’s a disturbing video indictment of the officers. The video puts the lie to the obviously falsified police account of what happened. In fact, this was an execution.”
The video is disturbing and graphic showing that at no time did Hall threaten the officers, nor lunged at them with any weapon. A lawsuit filed by the San Bernardino County Superior Court alleges that the officers involved escalated a peaceful encounter with Hall, into a conflict that ended with deadly and unnecessary force.
I still have to wonder, WHY do we trust police with guns to deescalate encounters with the mentally ill? These people are not trained to work with those suffering from bi-polar or schizoaffective disorders. This truth is being proven over and over and we see a spike in police-involved shootings of mentally ill persons.
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