Monroe County DA rules shooting of Christian Hall justified, releases video of confrontation with police

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"Classic suicide by cop scenario," First Assistant District Attorney of Monroe County Michael Mancuso said.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Police officers were justified in their use of deadly force that killed 19-year-old Christian Hall, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office has ruled.

The district attorney’s office released new video and information regarding the death of Hall which occurred during a confrontation with Pennsylvania State Police, back in December. In a press conference held Tuesday, the district attorney defended the actions of officers who he says attempted to negotiate with Hall for over an hour before shooting and killing Hall, ultimately ruling the use of force as justified.

“In accordance with the requirements of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, the pronouncements of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania crimes code, the use of deadly force in this case, was justified, “First Assistant District Attorney of Monroe County Michael Mancuso said.

The DA’s office says the initial call to 911 was actually placed by Christian Hall himself. Officers arrived on the scene after receiving additional calls about a possibly suicidal male from bystanders.

Troopers say Hall asked them if they were trained to shoot, if they were shot at, and asks them to “make it quick.” “Am I trained to shoot? No, we don’t do that,” an officer is heard responding.

Towards the end of the confrontation, Hall is seen approaching officers with the gun in his hand. Officers appear to shoot in the direction of Hall, hitting the concrete barrier behind him several times. After this, Hall is seen walking towards officers with the gun raised, first to his side then above his head.

Hall is not seen pointing the gun at officers before three shots hit him and he fell to the ground.

Mancuso confirmed after a question that the gun was not pointed at the officers before Hall was shot. He says the law does not require a weapon to be directly pointed at the officers for deadly force to be justified.

After his death, officers learned that the gun brandished by Hall was a pellet gun made to look like a real semi-automatic pistol.

“This was something that was close to Mr. Hall and something that, in the past, he was able to convince other people was real. And this was an instrument that he used to provoke the use of deadly force against him,” Mancuso said. “That’s the classic ‘suicide by cop’ scenario. He wanted the police to think it was real to provoke their response.”

The Monroe County NAACP issued a statement on the Hall investigation and it can be read below:

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