988: A New Lifeline for Mental Health Emergencies

988: A New Lifeline for Mental Health Emergencies

Posted Nov 22, 2021 from

Miles Hall, a 23-year-old Black man experiencing a psychotic episode, was shot and killed by police after 911 received calls of a disturbance in his Walnut Creek, California neighborhood. His mother Taun Hall had taken steps to warn the local police that her son had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and that he might be prone to mental health crises. In the calls, they both reiterated that Miles had mental health issues. The events of June 2nd, 2019 constituted both a mental health emergency for Miles Hall and a public safety emergency for those around him. However, the sequence of events involving 911 calls and police dispatch dictated that his case would be treated exclusively as a public safety issue. The police chief said after the shooting, “My heart goes out to the family of Miles Hall as this was an outcome nobody wanted to have happen.” In September 2020, the city of Walnut Creek agreed to pay the Hall family a $4 million settlement as recompense for the loss of their son.

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