The following is a statement released by the City of Walnut Creek and the Walnut Creek Police Department in regards to the Miles Hall death and findings of the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.
The City of Walnut Creek and the Walnut Creek Police Department appreciate the diligent efforts of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office focused on the investigation of the death of Miles Hall in June 2019. The results of the investigation released today are an important milestone in the community’s healing process
The District Attorney’s Office findings in the lengthy investigation align closely with the Police Department’s internal investigation, concluding that the officers acted within policy. The report also serves to highlight the mental health crisis facing communities throughout the country. We mourn Mr. Hall’s death and are committed to supporting his family, friends, and supporters.
“The past two years have been painful for our community, and we grieve the loss of Miles each day,” noted Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk. “Mental health is one of our society’s most serious crises and we must do whatever we can to provide immediate help to those who need it most. We will continue to work with the community to do whatever possible to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again in Walnut Creek, and in the meantime we hope that all viewpoints are shared peacefully.”
The City and Police Department have committed to expanding mental health services in all aspects of public safety. Specific actions include leading the expansion of Central Contra Costa County’s Crisis Intervention Team into a 24/7 service and increasing the Department’s mental health response training.
“The Walnut Creek Police Department always attempts to de-escalate situations before they lead to injury or death, and our officers took necessary action only after numerous attempts to stop Mr. Hall from advancing,” said Walnut Creek Interim Police Chief Dan Pratt. “We take a holistic approach to public safety, hiring only the best officers, training them extensively, and providing them every necessary tool to keep the community safe.”
In the months following the incident, the Police Department invested in a significant number of less-lethal devices and enhanced body-worn cameras that automatically capture video and audio of critical incidents. Public safety is continually evolving and the Department learns from each significant response and adapts to protect the public.
The City and Mr. Hall’s family previously settled a lawsuit that did not constitute an admission of liability or guilt.
“Every part of our City organization is committed to addressing the growing number of mental health incidents in Walnut Creek,” noted Walnut Creek City Manager Dan Buckshi. “Mental health isn’t just a public safety issue. It affects each aspect of community life and we must be creative and purposeful in seeking new solutions.”
The City is committed to complete transparency, and as such is now making its entire internal investigation available online. A link to the District Attorney’s investigation is available here.