Video has surfaced of an altercation filmed earlier this year between six officers with the Saginaw, Michigan police department and a homeless man. The cops shot 49-year-old Milton Hall 46 times, killing him.
Authorities have released video footage of the July 1 encounter between Saginaw police officers and Hall, a homeless man they spotted wielding a knife in a local parking lot (warning: graphic video).
Police responded to a 911 call after Milton, described by his family to CNN has suffering from “serious mental health issues,” had a disagreement with a clerk at a nearby convenience store. When law enforcement found him, he was pacing in a parking lot with a knife.
“My name is Milton Hall, I just called 911. My name is Milton, and I'm pi**ed off,” Hall can be heard shouting on the amateur footage.
On the uploaded clip, Hall is audibly told by a female police officer to drop his weapon, after which the suspect refuses and encourages the cops to let a dog loose on him.
"Let him go. Let the motherf---ing dog go,” Hall insists.
The authorities do not heed his request, but immediately after Hall screams at them to sic the dog, the video clip picks up the sound of a barrage of bullets being fired at Hall. Most estimates put the number of shots fired by the six officers at 46.
“All of a sudden, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow…and he drops,” eyewitness Anthoyn Baber tells CNN.
The Huffington Post reports that the six officers all involved in the shooting were initially put on administrative leave while the department investigated the shooting, which was the second police-related death in the small town of 50,000 in 2012.
As of last week, Michigan State Police are actively investigating the killing, and Matthew Frey, the Republican candidate to become Saginaw County's next prosecutor, tells the Saginaw News that he will “review the case again” if investigators deem the homicide as justifiable and he is elected to the position.
"I am extremely upset over what I saw,” Frey tells the paper.
According to an address give from Saginaw Police Chief Gerald Cliff to CNN,Hall was “known to be an assaultive person” with “a long history” involving altercations with law enforcement, “not only with police from our department but with the county.”
Even still, some say the degree to which the officers responded was unwarranted.
“I’m stunned that six human beings would stand in front of one human being and fire 46 shots,” Jewel Hall, the victim’s mother, tells CNN. “I just don’t understand that. It’s a lot of pain in that because it only takes one shot, so the question is why?”
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department confirmed last week that they have begun a federal probe into Mr. Hall’s death, more than one month after it occurred. Mitchell Rivard, spokesman for Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of the Civil Rights Division, tells Michigan Live that the DoJ will likely decline comment offering comments to the public until their investigation is complete.