MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — Catherine Daniels cried out Monday at a decision by prosecutors not to charge officers involved in her son’s fatal shooting.
“Feel my pain, my suffering,” Daniels said, crying. “It’s been a whole year, and the way they got off, it’s not right!”
The office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle late last week issued a report clearing the Miami Gardens officers, including the one who shot a mentally disturbed Lavall Hall four times, after the family called for help with the man who was having a psychotic episode.
A police dash cam video shows a very brief shot of Hall wielding a broom. A struggle ensued with two officers, and then an officer can be heard screaming at Hall to get on the ground, followed by four quick gunshots.
The state attorney’s closeout report was detailed in discussing what the dash cam video did not show. It included a photograph of the broom hall was wielding, that had a sharp, metal, spear-like tip on the end of it. The report says Hall used the weapon to slice open the forehead of one officer who was “bleeding profusely” before engaging in a struggle for the second officer’s gun. Efforts to Taser the man were unsuccessful. The report concluded the officer was justified in using deadly force to protect himself and others.
The Hall killing prompted sad and angry vigils. A federal lawsuit has been filed against Miami Gardens by the family. The family says the shooting would not have happened if police were properly trained.
“Patience, patience,” said family attorney Brett Rosen. “You know somebody is having a mental episode, be patient with them. It is life or death.”
The NAACP noted it has been more than 30 years since a police officer was charged in Miami-Dade with killing someone.
“It almost seems as though the State Attorney’s office intentionally tries to rubber stamp these cases,” said the organization’s Eric Pettus.
Catherine Daniels said her greatest regret is that she called police to assist her disturbed son.
“Why did they have to come and murder, when they were simply called for help?” The mother asked.
A spokesperson for the state attorney’s office declined to comment, saying that the extensive report of the investigation speaks for itself.
The family, and civil rights advocates, are calling on the FBI and justice department to investigate the Hall killing.
From the start, the Miami Gardens Police Department has insisted its officers behaved properly.
To read the entire close-out report on the shooting, click here.