Mental Illness Police

Video Shows Fontana Officers Shooting Mentally Ill, Legally Blind Man

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

Graphic surveillance footage from this past November shows Fontana police officers fatally shooting a mentally ill and legally blind man, James Hall, who was reportedly armed with a knife and a rock.

In the video (which was released by attorneys representing Hall’s family Wednesday and first reported on by the Daily Mail) Hall, 47, who suffered from schizoaffective disorder, enters a Chevron store in Fontana around 4:15a.m. on November 22, 2015.

The incident reportedly began when the convenience store clerk called the police about a possible armed robbery in progress.

The video shows five officers and a police dog entering the store after Hall. The police dog lunges at Hall, who appears startled and retreats toward the back of the store as police begin to close in on him. According to the Hall family’s lawsuit, an officer also fired a shot in Hall’s direction during the incident, prior to the final, fatal shooting.

According to the original Fontana PD report from November 2015, officers were trying to “talk the suspect into surrendering” before Hall “advanced on officers,” causing an officer to open fire.

In the video, however, Hall appears to crouch down in the back corner of the store, shifting here and there, until officers move in closer. Hall then seems to takes a couple of quick steps toward what looks like a soda fountain counter on his right, at which point, one of the officers opens fire. Hall does not appear to “advance” on officers before being shot.

Once Hall drops to the ground, around 12 officers quickly surround his body with guns drawn. Hall was declared dead at the scene.

Hall’s family is suing the Fontana PD for excessive use of force. The family is represented by high-profile attorney Mark Geragos’ law firm.

Hall was known by his family and neighbors as a peaceful man whose schizoaffective disorder did not lead to violent behavior.

The Daily Mail’s Ryan Parry has more on the shooting and the LA Times Matt Hamilton and Richard Winton have more on the shooting.

6 Comments

  • Ok….what should the cops have done? I guess drawing their weapons at a possible armed robbery suspect is totally out of line. The suspect’s own actions ultimately led to his own demise….we now want our law enforcement officers to take the first round before defending themselves…..political correctness gone amok!

  • Legally blind? How then did he see the dog? How did he the officers? How did he maneuver throughout the store without falling? Was the mental illness alleged? Was he actually diagnosed by a doctor? If so, was he taking prescription medication and where was his caretaker?

  • Seeing how Taylor is obviously an expert on police tactics, e.g. taking down knife wielding lunatics, maybe she and her pomeranian can show the cops a thing or two on the next one. If we can save the life of one crazed maniac ,it’ll all be worth it.

  • What was the rush though? No imminent harm to anyone inside. Provocative force now at the forefront of discussion why not lock it down and go through the risk management checklist? That’s what California police brass want now. Lock it down and wait not worth losing a job over.

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