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Walnut Creek officers will not be charged in death of Miles Hall

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday morning that no charges will be filed against Walnut Creek police officers who shot and killed Miles Hall in June 2019.

Hall, 23 years old at the time of his death, was experiencing a mental health crisis near his family’s Walnut Creek home. The California Highway Patrol received an emergency call for help from his mother around 4:40 p.m. on June 2, 2019, and another three 911 calls were made by neighbors and witnesses who reported that Hall was acting erratically and carrying a “black steel digging tool” measuring 4 feet 11 inches, according to the DA’s statement.

Four officers responded to the scene on the 100 block of Arlene Lane and police commanded Hall to drop the tool as he ran toward them. When he did not comply, police said officer Matt Smith fired four beanbag rounds, which also failed to stop him. The DA statement said that officers KC Hsiao and Melissa Murphy then discharged their firearms and Hall was struck four times and fell to the ground.

While handcuffed, police said they administered medical aid until paramedics arrived and transported him to John Muir Medical Center where he was shortly after pronounced dead.

The DA’s office, led by Diana Becton, publicly released the fatal incident report, which is made available online.

The report said it was determined that Hall suffered from “schizoaffective disorder-bipolar type.” Police acknowledged prior contact with Hall during another mental health breakdown, at which time he had a knife. The day before the fatal shooting, Hall’s mother had called and left a voicemail for a Walnut Creek police officer to give warn them that her son was having “another episode.” According to the voicemail transcript, Hall’s mother called to “prepare officers” for calls she expected they would receive from neighbors.

In the voicemail, Hall’s mother said:

“I wanted to give you guys a heads up that this is happening again with him. I am sure you guys will figure it out.”

The fatal shooting sparked protests and public calls for police reform. The city’s racial climate — Hall was a Black man — and law enforcement procedures related to mental health crises were heavily scrutinized in a series of listening sessions. The city agreed to pay a $4 million settlement to Hall’s family, represented by civil rights attorney John Burris.

Burris is expected to hold a press conference later Friday.

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