- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - The family of a homeless man repeatedly shot by police has reached a $725,000 settlement with the city of Saginaw less than six months after filing a civil rights lawsuit, an attorney said Monday.

Police fired more than 40 shots, striking Milton Hall 11 times and killing him in a parking lot in 2012 while witnesses recorded the confrontation on video.

Police said Hall, 49, who was mentally ill, was shot after refusing to drop a knife. Attorney Cynthia Heenan likened it to a “firing squad.”

“Standing there with a line of officers with guns pointed at him was no way to defuse the situation,” she said.

Bill Reising, an attorney for Saginaw, said money from the city and an insurer will cover the settlement. The city admits no liability in Hall’s death, which is standard in a settlement. The deal was reached Friday.

Hall’s family “approached us about a potential early resolution. We thought it was prudent to resolve the case,” Reising said.

Police were pursuing Hall based on a complaint that he had taken a cup of coffee from a convenience store. Video shows a distance of several feet between Hall and officers before the shooting began.

Saginaw officials have defended the shooting, although three officers were disciplined for violating department policies.

The U.S. Justice Department has declined to file criminal charges, saying there’s no evidence of willful, illegal conduct.

Heenan said she consulted national experts in police tactics who found “this was as poorly handled a situation as they had ever seen.”

Hall was a Saginaw native who spent some teen years in Albuquerque, N.M. He attended Knoxville College in Tennessee before transferring to the University of New Mexico. He didn’t graduate.

His mother, Jewel Hall of Rio Rancho, N.M., has said her son received federal disability benefits because of a mental illness.



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