Local News Matters weekly newsletter
Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that no charges will be filed against any of the officers involved in the 2019 fatal shooting of Miles Hall, a 23-year-old man experiencing a mental health crisis near his home.
Investigators in District Attorney Diana Becton’s office determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Officers KC Hsiao and Melissa Murphy, who shot Hall a combined four times on June 2, 2019, after responding to reports of a disturbance at his home.
Miles’ mother Taun Hall initially made an emergency call to the California Highway Patrol around 4:40 p.m.
Other neighbors and witnesses made subsequent reports to law enforcement, claiming that Hall was carrying a nearly 5-foot long steel digging tool and chased at least one person’s vehicle on foot.
Walnut Creek police officers began arriving at the scene roughly 10 minutes later and set up a staging area near the intersection of Orchard Lane and Lancaster Road in an effort to intercept Hall.
Familiar with Hall’s illness
Walnut Creek police officers had some previous knowledge that Hall dealt with mental illness after they had subdued him using non-lethal force during a previous encounter in which he had brandished a knife.
Officers first attempted to contact Hall near 140 Arlene Lane, but he did not respond to commands to stop running and drop the digging tool.
Hall began running toward the officers with the digging tool in hand as Officer Matt Smith attempted to subdue him using a beanbag shotgun, according to the district attorney’s office.
Hall’s family has said that Hall subsequently changed directions in an attempt to run past the officers.
The beanbags did not slow Hall, at which point Hsiao and Murphy shot at Hall, hitting him four times. Hall was taken to John Muir Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead soon after.
In September, the city of Walnut Creek approved a $4 million settlement in a civil rights case brought by Hall’s family and civil rights attorney John Burris.
Hall’s parents subsequently said the settlement money would be used to fund a foundation named after Hall that focuses on reforming law enforcement’s responses to people experiencing mental health crises.
The city of Walnut Creek’s budget for the current fiscal year also includes $100,000 to expand the use of mobile crisis units to respond to people experiencing mental health issues.
Dealing with the pain
Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk said in a statement that the two years since Hall’s death have been painful and the city grieves over his death “each day.”
“Mental health is one of our society’s most serious crises and we must do whatever we can to provide immediate help to those who need it most,” Wilk said. “We will continue to work with the community to do whatever possible to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again in Walnut Creek, and in the meantime we hope that all viewpoints are shared peacefully.”
Burris and the Hall family planned to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to respond to the announcement by Becton’s office.
Hall’s family said in a statement that they plan to call on California Attorney General Rob Bonta and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to review the case.
“After nearly two long years of waiting anxiously for the conclusion of what we had hoped would be a thorough, unbiased, factually accurate investigation, we learned that there will be no justice and no accountability for the indefensible actions that resulted in our son’s death — at least not today,” the Hall family said.
A report from the district attorney’s office on the shooting and subsequent investigation can be found online.