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Dash camera video captured a Miami Gardens, Florida Patrol Officer shooting a mentally ill black man who was brandishing no more than a metal broomstick. The video shows the officer warning 25-year-old Lavell Hall to get down on the ground or be killed moments before unloading five rounds into the man.
Authorities say that Hall was swinging the broom wildly and that the officer in question feared for his life. Hall’s mother had called police for help with the man earlier in the day. According to previous reports, authorities had transported the schizophrenic Hall to a mental health facility one week earlier.
Officer Timino, who issues the order and ultimately fired the shots, claims that both he and his partner, Officer Ehrlich, were struck by the metal broomstick. The shooting is under investigation by the Florida State Attorney. Authorities are investigating to determine if the shooting was justified.
This shooting comes in the wake the arrest of Charleston, SC Officer, Michael Slager, on murder charges for the killing death of the unarmed Michael Scott as he ran away from a traffic stop. Miami Gardens has had its share of controversy after allegations of racial profiling and abuse of power. In February, the police chief was fired after soliciting a prostitute. Likewise, one 28-year-old black man was arrested an astounding 258 times.
The troubled Miami Gardens Police Department was formed in the majority-black suburb of Miami in 2007. The controversy has peaked this week as a police officer fatally shoots a mentally ill black man armed with a mere broom stick.
By Chris Marion
Photo by Simon Q – Flickr License