New videos reveal that a Chinese American teenager suffering from a mental health crisis had his hands in the air for 14 seconds before troopers opened fire and killed him, according to an investigation by NBC News and Spotlight PA. Christian Hall, a 19-year-old diagnosed with depression, was standing on a ledge in northeastern Pennsylvania with what turned out to be a pellet gun. Troopers attempted to convince Hall to step back when they saw what they believed to be a gun in his hand and backed away. The final seconds of a video of the shooting, recorded by the state police and released by the Monroe County district attorney, was blurred by authorities. The full version of the video, released after the Hall family’s lawyers issued a subpoena, showed the teen’s hands in the air as two troopers shot and killed him.
The Monroe County DA ruled the killing justified, alleging the troopers’ lives were in danger. An assistant DA previously called Hall’s death a “classic suicide by cop scenario.” Ben Crump and Devon M. Jacob, the lawyers who represented George Floyd’s family, have criticized the troops’ actions. “Everybody knows when you put your hands in the air, that’s the universal sign of surrender,” said Crump. “Why use the most excessive force?” Gareth Hall, Christian’s father, is asking for an “unbiased investigation,” adding that he “personally would like to see those police officers brought up on charges.”