Sciota, PA — In December, Christian Joseph Hall, 19, was in the midst of a mental health crisis and wanted to die. He positioned himself on top of an overpass on I-80 leading to police closing off the road and engaging with him. Moments after police arrived, however, Hall would be dead.
Originally, police claimed they encountered Hall “standing near the bridge and in possession of a firearm.” Troopers spoke with Hall and ordered him to place his firearm on the ground, which he did, according to a state police news release.
Police then claimed Hall changed his tone and became a threat. “As troopers continued to negotiate with Hall regarding the incident, Hall became uncooperative and retrieved the firearm and began walking towards the troopers,” police said. Police said he then pointed the gun in their direction, and they fired, hitting Hall, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Multiple news outlets ran with this narrative in late December after Hall was killed. It was a cut and dry case of police claiming something happened and no one having any evidence to the contrary — until now.
A video uploaded to Twitter this week by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump appears to completely dispute the narrative put out by the Pennsylvania State Troopers. The video was uploaded Tuesday night and shows a man, identified as Hall, with his hands in the air on top of the bridge.
As the video shows, Hall never once appears to walk toward the officers and, in fact, had his hands in the air when the gun shots rang out. Hall then doubles over from the bullets and collapses to the ground.
The people filming react in shock after watching police shoot and kill a teenager with his hands in the air. After Hall collapses below the guardrail, the two officers are seen moving in in a low profile tactical maneuver before the video cuts out.
At no time does the video show Hall point a gun or walk toward the officers as they claimed after the shooting in December.
As of the writing of this article, there has yet to be any coverage in the media on the new video disputing the official story. This video needs to be pushed out everywhere so the officers who shot Hall can be investigated for their role in his death.
If the video below is authentic, it shows a murder, not a justified police shooting like everyone has been told for a month.
19yo Christian Hall needed HELP. On 12/30, he experienced a mental health crisis and @PAStatePolice were called to assist. Instead of helping Christian, deputies fatally shot him with his hands raised. This is NOT how cops should handle mental health crises! #JusticeForChristian pic.twitter.com/QVDggTq44u
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) February 3, 2021
Sadly, the way the cops handled this case is par for the course. Because so many police departments treat the mentally ill like targets at the range, innocent and often unarmed people in a health crisis end up with police bullets in them instead of receiving the help they need.
This plays out like a broken record across the country on a near daily basis and very little changes. Instead of pushing violable solutions like sending mental health experts instead of cops, ending qualified immunity, ending the drug war, requiring cops to carry personal liability insurance, and ending predatory policing, the debate becomes muddied by those focusing on other factors that are major but present no real solutions.
A racist oppressor will always be a racist oppressor, but if you eliminate his ability to oppress with impunity by implementing the solutions mentioned above, you begin to weed out all the racist oppressors. These solutions create an environment that expels these types of racist authoritarians instead of harbors them. Simply calling cops racists, while true for many cops, does nothing to force real change.