SAGINAW, MI. (CNN) – Tensions are high in Saginaw, Michigan. Last month, police shot and killed a man with a history of mental illness. The deadly shooting was caught on camera.
We want to warn you, the video is very graphic and could be troubling to some viewers.
In this CNN exclusive, Jason Carroll talks with witnesses and city officials about the incident.
A joint investigation is under way into this shooting. Amateur video details what happened during the final moments. I do have to warn you: the video is graphic.
This amateur video, purchased by CNN and not made public until now, captured the confrontation between six Saginaw police officers and Milton Hall, a 49 year old man, who his family says suffered from serious mental health issues. Hall, seen in the middle of your screen, police say, had just had a run in with a convenience store clerk. He was in a standoff with police and holding some sort of knife. A female officer is heard shouting.
“Put the knife down!”
“I ain’t putting s–t down.”
“Put the knife down”
If you listen carefully, hall is then heard continuing to yell at police.
“My name is Milton Hall. I just called 911! And I’m pissed off!”
Hall seems agitated, but not intimidated by a police dog.
“Let him go. Let him go. Let the motherf—ing dog go.”
Heard on the tape, a witness describes what he sees.
“A karate stance and he’s about to go Ham on him.”
Then, as hall appears to take a few steps, everything comes to a head.
Local media report 46 shots were fired. CNN counted the sounds of at least 30 shots on the video tape. Anthony Baber witnessed the shooting.
“All of a sudden, ‘pow pow pow pow pow pow pow,’ and he drops, and you know, ‘pow pow pow pow pow pow pow’ and he drops. I was about where that blue van is. I was parked in my van.”
Tabitha Perry saw it too.
“I heard one of the officers say something to the fact where, ‘Put the knife down, or I’ll let the dog go.'”
(Reporter: “Do you believe the officers were justified in what they did?”)
“No, I don’t. No, I don’t, because what they did, there was a better way to do it. I think their judgment was off.”
Perry is not alone. Hall’s mother says Saginaw police overreacted.
“Emotionally, I have a lot of pain, and I’m stunned that six human beings would stand in front of one human being an fire 46 shots. I just don’t understand that.”
On the day of the shooting, July first, the Saginaw police chief defended his officers’ actions.
“This is someone that from our understanding has a long history, not only with police from our department, but with the county, known to be an assaultive person.”
Over the last month, members of the community have voiced outrage about the hall shooting, not satisfied with the police investigation into the officers’ response.
We showed the video of the shooting to city councilman Norman Braddock.
“I can see why people are traumatized at looking at something like that, and we need answers.”
Braddock has been critical of what he calls the slow pace of the shooting investigation.
(Reporter: “Could it be that investigators are just trying to make sure they’re doing a thorough job, and that’s why investigation is…?”)
“I’m sure that has something to do with it, but at the same time, it should be a top priority.”
The Michigan State Police lead investigator would not discuss the case, instead referring us to the Saginaw County Prosecutor, who told us, ‘I can’t tell you when the case is going to be completed. The matter is being thoroughly investigated by an independent police agency, the Michigan State Police, along with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.’
Hall’s mother already feels she knows the answer to the question of whether police used too much force:
“It appeared to be a firing squad dressed in police uniforms. And there was another way. They did not have to kill him.”
Jason Carroll, CNN, Saginaw, Michigan.