Sep 17, 2020
'We are moving the needle': Walnut Creek police to change approach to mental illness after mother's efforts
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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Walnut Creek Police announced at Tuesday night's city council meeting they will allocate $100,000 toward expanding their crisis intervention team. The goal will be to have someone available around the clock to respond to mental health emergencies.
"These people would have above and beyond additional training to better equip them to handle the sort of crises that we're, we're faced with," Captain Jay Hill told the council.
This announcement comes after the family of Miles Hall has pushed for change since his shooting death in June of 2019.
"I feel like there's positivity. We are moving the needle and I feel like that is important," Taun Hall, Miles mother, said Wednesday morning.
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But she also said she doesn't think the answer lies with the police department.
Her son was 23-years-old at the time of his death and had been diagnosed as schizoaffective.
She says at the time he was shot, he thought he was Jesus and was holding a garden tool he thought was protecting him.
Police perceived it as a threat and shot and killed him.
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His mother has been speaking out and has attended every city council meeting since.
But it was the death of George Floyd that really helped shine a spotlight on what happened to Miles.
Taun has spoken at several Black Lives Matter protests and several demonstrations have since been organized for Miles.
"The passion and reason we are doing this is to save lives. Miles was innocent with a garden tool and in broad daylight he was shot," she said.
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She is hoping this momentum will continue.
"I feel like the city is trying to make some change and we appreciate that but we really want to see a non-police response to mentally ill calls. It's going to be a big shift," she said.
The shooting death of Miles is still under investigation.
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Macron: Europe should talk with Russia to enhance security
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron urged Europe to seek a dialogue with Russia to enhance the continent’s security rather than relying primarily on the NATO military alliance.
Speaking Wednesday in a news conference in Riga, the capital of the Baltic nation of Latvia, Macron said Europeans should be able to rethink their relation with Russia despite recent tensions after the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
“Our collective security imposes that, given geography, we need to discuss with Russians,” he insisted.
During a three-day visit to Lithuania and Latvia, Macron sought to reassure that his goal was to build up Europe’s defense capabilities as a complement to NATO — not to replace it.
Macron’s efforts towards Russia have prompted concerns from Baltic states, whose relations with Russia have remained icy for nearly 30 years since their independence in the wake of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Estonia and Latvia both have sizable ethnic-Russian minorities, while Lithuania’s ethnic-Russian population is more minor.
Macron reiterated that Russia should provide clarifications on the poisoning of Navalny or the country would face international consequences — but he did not elaborate on what those would be.
Macron, who once lamented the “brain death” at the NATO due to a lack of American leadership, last year launched efforts to try to thaw France’s relations with Russia, which were damaged by Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
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