MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Wednesday's release of police dash cam video of the Miami Gardens police shooting of Lavall Hall has certainly sparked controversy and concern, but experts said what may be damaging to public opinion, will probably not be a factor in deciding if charges should be filed.
The family's lawyer went so far as to characterize it as murder on Wednesday, but two police-involved shooting experts told Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen something different.
A former homicide detective and a seasoned criminal attorney both said that based on the limited video available, they can't rush to a judgement.
In the video, an officer is heard yelling,"Get on the (expletive) ground or you're dead" before he started shooting. He is then heard saying, "Put your hand behind your (expletive) back" numerous times.
In the 19-minute video, two angles can be seen from the patrol dash cam. Police are seen chasing Hall, but what can't be seen is Hall at the time he is shot. So far the only angle released is of Officer Eddy Trimino as he fires his service revolver five times at Hall.
Because of that, experts said they can only base their opinion on the actions of the officer.
"We are in a climate right now. I have never seen anything like this where the police are being second guessed on everything that they do," criminal attorney Eric Schwartzreich said.
"It is sad that he has these mental health issues. It is sad and tragic that he lost his life, but if you put yourself in that police officer's shoes, it appears that in this situation, from a police officer's perspective, that this was reasonable."
In February, Hall was having a violent episode when his mother called 911, hoping police would place him under the care of a mental facility under provisions of the Baker Act.
Police said when officers arrived at the scene, Hall was carrying a broomstick and attacked Officer Eddy Trimino, who eventually shot Hall.
"You are not going to say please stop running," homicide investigative expert Joe Matthews said. "You are going to get his attention by saying something that will get his attention. Obviously it didn't."
The family's attorney Glen Goldberg said no law enforcement agency has contacted the family and none of them know who is in charge of the investigation into Hall's death.
Hall's mother and family are now suing the department.
Police declined to comment on the open investigation.
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