Footage confirming that Christian Hall had his hands up in the air when Pennsylvania State Police fatally shot him last December was released on Thursday, sparking renewed calls for an “unbiased” investigation into the incident.
What happened: Hall, 19, was reported as suffering a mental health crisis when he ended up on the bridge at the Route 33 southbound overpass over I-80 in Hamilton Township on Dec. 30, 2020. Pennsylvania police, who were called to assist, fatally shot him for allegedly pointing what turned out to be a non-fatal weapon at them.
- Hall was holding an airsoft pellet gun, which police believed to be a semi-automatic firearm, that they convinced him to put down.
- The young man eventually complied and put the gun down, but he grabbed it back before walking toward the police. One officer fired several shots at him but missed.
- Hall then raised his hands but clung to his pellet gun. This prompted the police to fire a second series of shots, which struck and killed him.
- In March, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office released a video showing that Hall had raised his hands before he was shot; however, the office blurred the final moments and redacted the actual shooting.
- Hall’s family’s attorney, Ben Crump, who also represented George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s families, described the teen’s raising of hands as the “universal sign of surrender.” In a new statement, he said his legal team “had to push relentlessly” for almost a year to get their hands on the unredacted footage, according to USA Today.
WARNING GRAPHIC ⚠️ Police officers in Pennsylvania shoot 19-year-old Christian Hall whose hands were in the air pic.twitter.com/FdF97eSCkM
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) November 18, 2021
What his family is saying: Spotlight PA and NBC News first reported the release of the unredacted video, which shows that Hall’s hands remained up for 14 seconds before he was shot. This prompted his family to call on the Department of Justice and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office to launch an independent investigation.
- “I would like to see an unbiased investigation take place,” Hall’s father, Gareth, told Spotlight PA. “I personally would like to see those police officers brought up on charges.”
- Hall’s parents have reportedly begun the process of suing the two officers who shot him. Devon Jacob, an attorney who joined Crump in representing the family, called the shooting an “unlawful homicide,” according to the Washington Post.
- The Monroe County District Attorney previously stated that Hall’s shooting was “justified” under the circumstances caused by his actions, which they believe had “created a threat of death or bodily injury.” As of this writing, the office has not commented on the release of the new footage, while Pennsylvania State Police said they could not comment on pending litigation.
Featured Image via NBC News