The family of a mentally ill man fatally shot by police in Miami Gardens confronted local officials Wednesday in a dramatic exchange that unfolded just hours after their attorney released video of the shooting that includes audio of the victim's mother begging "please, don't hurt my child, please."
Catherine Daniels, the mother of Lavall Hall, attended the Miami Gardens city council meeting Wednesday night to demand answers, but she never got a turn to speak.
The council zipped through the public hearing option, and that's when things took an angry turn, as Daniels confronted Mayor Oliver Gilbert.
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"I wanna ask you something, do you hold accountable for what your officers did?" she asked, as Gilbert appeared to walk away.
“Why are you running? I asked you do you justify your officer was in the right?” Daniels called after Gilbert.
Hall was shot and killed by officers in February after his mother called 911 for help with her son, who was schizophrenic. Former police chief Stephen Johnson said the officer opened fire after Hall attacked two officers with a broomstick.
Earlier Wednesday, the family's attorney, Glen Golberg, released chilling dash camera video of part of the deadly confrontation. Goldberg said the police dash camera video of the shooting, which was obtained by his family, contradicts the police narrative.
"It is a bombshell, it does not corroborate what the City of Miami Gardens police chief had said," Goldberg said.
In the video, Hall's mother can be heard off-camera pleading with officers for her son's safety. An officer is heard saying "he's walking with a broom and he's walking around in his underwear. Every time I go near him, he walks away" before the fatal encounter.
"I was devastated to see that it happened like that," Daniels said.
NAACP representatives pointed out that the incident was not the first time Hall's mother called police to the home, noting that Hall had been safely committed to a forced psychiatric evaluation under the Baker Act a week prior to the incident.
"This is why this mother called. She did the right thing," representatives said, as Daniels began to weep audibly. "What she called for was assistance from police never knowing that this would be the last time that she would see her son."
Miami Gardens Police said they were required to release the video to Hall's family but said they wouldn't comment further because the case remains an open investigation.
On Tuesday afternoon, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a letter to Goldberg that releasing the video could harm the criminal case involving the officers.
"Obviously our concern is that this potential contamination may compromise our common goal to seek the truth," her letter said, in part.
"It is our position that the practices and procedures employed by the City of Miami Gardens were far below the standards in our community," Goldberg said.
The family of Hall has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and police department.