Attorney John Burris To File Claim Against Walnut Creek Police For Fatal Shooting

June 14, 2019 10:00 am · 71 comments

A civil rights attorney will file a claim on behalf of the family of a man shot dead by Walnut Creek police, the law firm said Thursday.

Attorney John Burris will file the claim on behalf of Tuan and Scott Hall, parents of Miles Hall, who was shot June 2 in a confrontation with police.

Miles Hall was 23 years old and had mental health issues, which his mother apparently told police when she called them that day to say he had threatened her and would be aggressive with officers.

His mother also allegedly told police that her son had a pointed metal pole and had broken a sliding glass window.

Another person apparently called police to say Miles Hall was at his door with a crowbar in his hand and a bandana on.

Police said when officers arrived Miles Hall was approaching another home and officers told him to drop the crowbar, but he didn’t and charged at officers. According to police, officers fired beanbag rounds at Miles Hall, which had little effect and then officers opened fire.

“Tragically, Miles Hall’s family did everything they could to protect their mentally challenged son by using all available public services including the police yet he was shot dead by the same police they thought would protect him,” Burris said in a statement.

An attempt to reach a Walnut Creek city attorney for a comment was unsuccessful.

Tsa June 14, 2019 at 10:20 AM

That Bentley car payment is coming due…

Rob June 14, 2019 at 10:35 AM

“According to police”

Given the number of times, we have heard that from Police – and then when the video is relased the cops start changing their story…

Let’s see the video and then we can all see what happened….

I am all for supporting cops when they tell the truth and have no choice…

But when cops lie and the video shows them to be lying – sorry – they should get no excuses.

Carnac the Magnificent June 14, 2019 at 7:54 PM

You start off with “according to the police” in quotations. Let us be honest here, you DO NOT support the police in any way shape or form. Just man up and say it.

You are implying without having the intestinal fortitude of actually saying it, that the Walnut Creek Police Officers are liars. The tape recording of the call for service is fabricated and the officers who shot the suspect are murderers.

The District Attorney’s office, who also investigated the incident are also liars and conspired to cover up the murder by the WCPD.

Save your platitudes and be proud of your anti-police attitude.

Turn n Burn June 15, 2019 at 8:06 AM

Carnac, you are Magnificent!!!!!

John P June 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM

Burris’ MO is to file a suit (usually frivolous) and hope for a settlement. WC needs to countersue for his net worth plus a bunch to put the lowlife scum bag out of business.

dbcoop June 14, 2019 at 11:55 PM

Usually frivolous ???

tashaj June 15, 2019 at 9:03 AM

Wrong. Burris simply knows how to play the legal system, which is based on the principle that each party to litigation pays for its own legal expenses.
There are only 3 exceptions: 1. a prior contract between parties (e. g. a rental agreement forcing the tenant to pay landlord’s legal fees upon eviction); 2. a civil rights violation, in which the violator has to pay legal fees of the victim; 3. as a punishment for frivolous litigation, a judge can make a plaintiff to pay defendant’s legal fees.
You would think that #3 applies here, but in reality no judge will ever rule that a lawsuit over the death of a person shot by the police is “frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.” Or even if such a ruling was made, it is guaranteed to be overturned by an appeals court.
That’s why the lawsuits over police shootings almost never go to trial: even if the city wins, they are still stuck with a huge legal bill. The only way to put John Burris and his ilk out of business is by changing the way legal fees are apportioned and making the losing party pay by default. Which is the way it works in the vast majority of civilized countries, including Britain, from which the US originally inherited its legal system. But the chances of this happening are exactly zero – what, with the lawyers making up nearly 40% of the Congress? And that’s why the US will continue to hold the dubious honor of the most litigious country in the world, and John Burris will continue to thrive.

SmileWC June 14, 2019 at 10:44 AM

I’d say let’s wait for the trial – but there will never be one. Tragic case all the way around. I recall years ago a guy in Berkeley stepped out of a coffee shop to feed his meter, a young mentally ill man off his medication stabbed him to death on the sidewalk and took off running. He was spotted easily-blood on him and he still had the knife. Voices had made him afraid.

Mike June 14, 2019 at 10:48 AM

So WCPD went from using bean-bags to bullets.
Do they not have any tazers?

Ricardoh June 14, 2019 at 11:06 AM

Seems tasers kill as many as bullets. It is not up to the police to come up with a more effective weapon.

The Professor June 14, 2019 at 11:46 AM

Yes they have tazers but they are not always effective. They are essentially one shot deterrents. The perp will not stop if they miss, the battery is dead or weak, the prongs don’t penetrate the skin (baggy or loose clothing), the prongs are not properly spaced (too close together). Also, there are times that you get a good hit and everything is perfect, but the perp does not stop.

Imagine that some guy is rampaging around with a crowbar or metal bar. He’s not following police commands. Multiple people have called him in about violent behavior, including his parents. It is dark. And now he is charging you. You shoot him with bean bags and he is still coming! What now?

Burris will claim that the police should have resorted to calm and reason. He will say that the perp was mentally incapable and the cops knew this: but they shot him anyway because they were (racist, uncaring, lacked proper training, were blood thirsty, or whatever, you fill in the blank). He’ll ask for millions and parade the grieving family in front of the TV cameras while calling for “justice”.
He will eventually get a 6 figure settlement, claim victory, and cash his 30% check.

I do not know exactly what happened that night since the video has not been released. But I do know what type of attorney Burris is. Nothing more then a despicable, publicity seeking ambulance chaser.

Rollo Tomasi June 14, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Do you assume a taser is more effective than bean bags, and can be deployed effectively in an instant when one is being charged by an adult with a deadly weapon? Since you can’t spell taser, I’m guessing you’re equally ignorant in the deployment thereof.

thedude June 14, 2019 at 12:32 PM

forget the tazers and the bean bags, there was 5 officers involved. They couldn’t overpower him?

Rollo Tomasi June 14, 2019 at 5:14 PM

@thedude:
Next time this scenario takes place, can law enforcement call you? You can be first in to risk taking a crowbar upside the melon. If all five officers rush him, one is going to get hit with the crowbar. That gives each a 20% chance of not going home healthy from their shift. Regardless of what many think, that is not in their job description.

Ricardoh June 14, 2019 at 11:03 AM

I’ll buy that.

Concerned Citizen June 14, 2019 at 11:03 AM

Again…very sad for everyone involved. Maybe someday our society will be better equipped to help those with mental illness.

Ricardoh June 14, 2019 at 11:04 AM

Stay in Oakland John.

burnbabyburn June 14, 2019 at 11:04 AM

I’ll start by saying that john burris is, in my opinion, a worthless POS.
Actually, that is all that I need to say. The facts speak for themselves.

Tax payer June 14, 2019 at 11:35 AM

By all means.. lets demand the trial. No more pay outs for family members who acuse law enforcement of not being acuate in their decision making. Mental illness is not license to threaten people, damage property, and i still fear that calls for self defense. I’m tired of people not being hd accountable for their crimes just because they have a different set of impulses. The parents probably did do everything they could to protect their child from danger… but they couldn’t protect us from their child.

grandmato3 June 14, 2019 at 12:05 PM

I agree. This man was mentally ill and the police knew it. Why shoot to kill? What happened to shooting in the leg or arm to disengage him? I hope the family wins this one, it’s beyond tragic.

PO'd June 14, 2019 at 9:00 PM

A crazy man swinging a crowbar IS deadly, and it’s the job of police to protect the public from dangerous individuals. When the bean bag didn’t deter the perp, the choice left is: either “tackle” him (an absolutely absurd notion) or shoot.
Of course police shoot at the torso as the rest of the body is moving.
John Burris is a shakedown artist. He usually aims for a settlement before it goes to court.
Yes, it is tragic, but part of human existence is dealing with mentally ill people, with public safety being a priority.By the time a mental case has a crowbar in his hand, and is threatening the police, it’s too late.

The Mamba June 14, 2019 at 12:14 PM

Better sell that library!

Jeff June 14, 2019 at 12:20 PM

As someone who patrolled the streets of Los Angeles and Contra Costa, I can tell you that it’s not easy to shoot limbs, we were trained to shoot for the torso, a large area, not necessarily to kill. And, law enforcement officers have families, families that want them home, you try tackling a person with a knife of crowbar. Burris is a piece of crap.

S June 14, 2019 at 12:25 PM

OHHhhhhhh g-mato…. you watched too many westerns….

Cellophane June 14, 2019 at 12:29 PM

From what’s been said here and what I have read elsewhere I believe the Police acted appropriately.

If the Parents had done everything they could, their son would not be on the street in the first place.

The man appeared to be a danger to others and did not react to less lethal methods of detainment.

I believe the Parents should have taken more responsible actions for their son.

Silva June 14, 2019 at 1:19 PM

I think a lot of parents who’ve done everything they possibly could would disagree.

TeacherMom June 15, 2019 at 8:55 PM

Sounds like the parents WERE responsible. They alerted the police to their son’s issue. Mental illness can happen anyone’s family. It is wrong to blame the parents, not knowing what they had tried to do to help their son. For all you know, he may have been to the best psychiatrists. Blaming the parents is a cheap shot.

BornBitter June 14, 2019 at 12:32 PM

“What happened to shooting in the leg or arm to disengage him?”
What happened to it??? It was never a thing. No law enforcement department has ever, will ever, or should ever train theit officers to shoot at extremities. They shoot at center of mass because its doable and effective.
If someone ever charges you with a deadly weapon I would suggest attempting to shoot them in the chest as opposed to your plan of blasting their shoelaces in an attempt to cause them to trip.

Anonymous June 14, 2019 at 1:12 PM

We can safely ignore comments from Rob and Mike and Anthony. They will always say foolish things. The simple fact is someone was going to die. When you attack cops with a crow bar and the less then lethal alternative don’t work , the cops are out of feel good options. They all went home to their wives and kids. No one felt good about this situation but it was inevitable.

I take back the statement that no one felt good . Mr Burris was overjoyed . Lazy TV reporters will report him profiling all police and prattling on about grave injustice . Watch for him to use the term “Mental health crisis “ This
Is the latest code for excusing violence.

Rollo Tomasi June 14, 2019 at 5:18 PM

And you’re the only “Ron” in town?

Hayden Barsotti June 14, 2019 at 1:20 PM

Here comes the slime ball attorney that goes after the cases the ambulance chasers don’t want. Just go away!!

Anthony June 14, 2019 at 1:27 PM

POST DELETED
Please Note: Users who use multiple names will be deleted. Please choose a name so others can easily chat with you.

The Professor June 14, 2019 at 1:49 PM

“Aim small, miss small”.
-Mel Gibson to his sons in The Patriot

I’ll explain it to you, Anthony, The Dude, and others who will surely post equally ridiculous thoughts. When the guy who is out of his mind ignores your commands and advances toward you in a threatening manner while brandishing a deadly weapon, you shoot. And you aim center mass to nullify the threat as fast as possible. Aiming for a leg or trying to shoot the weapon from his hands and missing will allow him to injure or kill others.

Pyrrhus June 14, 2019 at 2:29 PM

This is a tragedy all around. Is there body camera footage? If not, this is exactly why body camera footage is important. It would give a clear cut case to show that the officers acted appropriately.

Regardless, I feel officers here in America are not taught to defuse a situation like they do in other countries. In other countries, officers will keep a distance (willing to retreat) and try to talk the person into surrendering or waiting to make a move.

Officers do not have an easy job by any means and I do appreciate what they do for the community. However, this does not give them the excuse to act inappropriately or to be so scared for their life that they shoot first and act questions later. If you can’t handle the pressure then you really shouldn’t be in that kind of position.

Blueberry June 15, 2019 at 9:50 AM

Spoken like someone who has never had a son with schizoaffective disorder.

Nutcreek Frontier June 14, 2019 at 2:40 PM

Makes me sad that family dysfunction will be once again rewarded with taxpayer dollars. All that money that could have gone to schools, roads or children, will be paid to the family. Don’t know them, and mental illness is very sad, but often this kind of behavior is the result of years of bad choices by all involved, such as drugs, abuse, broken homes…

WCreeker June 14, 2019 at 4:22 PM

None of those circumstances apply to this case or this family. Don’t make assumptions.

Nutcreek Frontier June 14, 2019 at 7:07 PM

Since the family wants taxpayer monies, they lose their privacy. People are going to ask questions before handing them millions.

Joe June 14, 2019 at 2:42 PM

Burris is an opportunist and scum bag.

jon s June 14, 2019 at 2:48 PM

The lawyer can waste his time on a case he wont make a penny on.Warning the police doesn’t make them do their job any different,they are twice as cautious after being told they are dealing with someone irrational.

anon June 14, 2019 at 4:38 PM

“The lawyer can waste his time on a case he wont make a penny on.”
you are 1000% wrong – he is there for the money

jon s June 14, 2019 at 5:41 PM

And he wont make a penny unless he wins,and he can’t win.He hopes fpr an out of court settlement.The police did their job as trained.No time to talk sense into him or you,kid.

jon s June 14, 2019 at 2:54 PM

I did not even know the person that died was a black man until Burris got involved.Now it’s all based on race.

anon June 14, 2019 at 4:42 PM

Now????
Its always a racial event regardless of the proper techniques used.
The family should have had him in a home for people with his issues-
the fact the cops had dealt with him before & he broke the glass door & charged the cops says it all..one does not try to get warm & fuzzy in that they use situation- use force or die… actually the snowflakes would be happy for cops to die.

Kirkwood June 14, 2019 at 3:03 PM

The city will settle and the attorney knows it. Citys always settle because the attorney will call for a jury trial and the attorney knows that emotion makes the jury putty in his hands. Juries are notoriously unpredictable. A settlement is easy money for all concerned.

tashaj June 15, 2019 at 9:24 AM

That’s pure BS. The reason why municipalities settle is because they can’t recoup their legal fees even if they win in court. Remember the case of Alejandro Nieto shot in SF? SFPD actually won the lawsuit – but it still ended up costing the city hundreds of thousands.
So the city estimates the cost of going to trial and offers a settlement of, say, half the amount. Or even less if the person killed was armed and threatening. And unless the plaintiffs and their lawyers are really greedy (like Alejandro Nieto’s parents), they settle.

Gittyup June 14, 2019 at 4:03 PM

This seems to happen repeatedly. Is it some kind of mystery that if you charge the police with a weapon in hand you are going to get shot? You’d think the word would had gotten around by now.

Ricardoh June 14, 2019 at 4:22 PM

If the parents only knew how much heartache and trouble they saved them from. It would have been a lifetime of hell.

Blueberry June 15, 2019 at 12:54 PM

Sad, but true. He could easily have killed his parents. The parents did, after all, call the police. This was not going to get any better.

Rollo Tomasi June 14, 2019 at 5:16 PM

@grandmato3:
“What happened to shooting in the leg or arm to disengage him?”

That has never been law enforcement policy. Stop watching Dragnet reruns.

Bob June 14, 2019 at 5:28 PM

Took longer than I expected.

Maybe JB was on vacation?

jon s June 14, 2019 at 5:43 PM

Ask your teacher in school tomorrow Anthony.The police will shoot at you to kill you,and no other reason.Its not to harm you and then arrest you.

Boycott The Circus June 14, 2019 at 6:10 PM

Why is John Burris so against our law enforcement? I mean does he know what it is like to have your life threatened? People are crazy as is, mental disorder or not. To be honest, the parents should of protected there son, not law enforcement or anyone else. I know our mental health care system sucks but if your son is having dangerous, aggressive thoughts then the parents should of really looked into more care for him. One should never expect someone else to protect them or there family. DUH!

PO'd June 15, 2019 at 11:56 AM

Answer: Because he makes his living doing what he does.
Victimization + bleeding hearts=payday.

Dr. Jellyfinger June 14, 2019 at 6:46 PM

I gotta blame Jimmy Stewart (Winchester “73) for not only shooting a coin in mid air but betting he could shoot a hole right through the bullet hole already in the coin while it was flipping and spinning in mid air…. and then he did it!……….. Booooolchidt! it can’t be done.

You can be a good shot, but nobody can shoot like a Hollywood cowboy…. get real!

Adrenaline charged Cops aim at body mass and are lucky if they hit something significant enough to stop the threat.

Rollo Tomasi June 14, 2019 at 7:39 PM

@ Anthony:
“Then lets just continue to waste money on police training so we can shoot to kill only.”

You’ve been watching vintage TV with grandmato3, haven’t you? The policy is not, and never has been, shoot to kill. The policy is use of force necessary to neutralize the threat. If the perp had been scared enough by the bean bags to comply, we wouldn’t be here discussing this.

Clayton native June 14, 2019 at 8:42 PM

Family called 911 fearing for their lives as did the multiple neighbors. Thus, police knew they too were in imminent danger when arriving on scene. It was a good shoot. His family did nothing to stop him from terrorizing them or the public yet they expected the police not to shoot? Family looking for money grab. PD should sue for slander of good cops.

MeCrazyWoman June 14, 2019 at 10:09 PM

My heart went out to his family when I heard about the this, I assumed they were good people trying to cope with a son with mental health issues. I guess money is their motive

Anonymous June 14, 2019 at 10:10 PM

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is suicide by cop. A fairly common event. This person may have been mentally ill but could probably anticipate that if he charged the cops with a deadly weapon he would die. And so he charged. Mr Burris will try to make himself richer because of this .

dbcoop June 14, 2019 at 11:56 PM

Usually frivolous ??? I mean …

dbcoop June 14, 2019 at 11:56 PM

i mean …

dbcoop June 15, 2019 at 12:14 AM

Meth is bad MMMMMMMMMkkkk ???????????

Mika June 17, 2019 at 8:45 AM

@ dbcoop—MENTAL ILLNESS is bad. . .

dbcoop June 15, 2019 at 12:16 AM

Got meth ????

Ilovepopcorn June 15, 2019 at 4:39 AM

The cops exhibited zero patience and forced this poor young man
to not comply with the forceful tactics being presented. I have seen the Walnut Creek police on two separate occasions draw their guns out in the daytime chasing suspects, with people all around. Once at the Walnut Festival, another in the parking lot of Walnut Creek Presbyterian church. Fast and loose and complete disregard for safety of the general public. The
police need much better training on dealing with the mentally ill and using their weapons. They are too gun happy.

Turn n Burn June 15, 2019 at 8:08 AM

Obviously you hang around the wrong type of people.

Rollo Tomasi June 15, 2019 at 8:25 AM

“…forced this poor young man to not comply…”

Huh?

West Leland June 15, 2019 at 12:06 PM

They need to release the tape and radio transmissions. That will be enough to make clear of the situation. We can’t let people play the system and settle out of court for something that didn’t happen like they claim but we also can’t let cops get away over killing people unnecessarily.

Release the video and release the audience.

Rollo Tomasi June 15, 2019 at 10:13 PM

From an earlier story about this incident:

“Police said they anticipate releasing bodycam footage of the shooting at a later date.”

Or do you feel entitled to the footage before the investigation is completed?

Michael June 15, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Great, the next time I see a person suffering a mental episode and threatening someone else I will be calling Mr Burris’s office to handle it.

Rollo Tomasi June 16, 2019 at 6:46 PM

@Michael:

Great idea, but Burris’ office will only respond if the subject meets certain physical criteria.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: