By Shirley Ng, AsAmNews Staff Writer
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, stood with the family of Christian Hall today, a suicidal teen gunned down by police in Pennsylvania with his hands up.
“This young man needed help, not hurt,” the Reverend said at a news conference and rally in New York City. “The response he was given is unjustified.”
Family attorney Ben Crump said police responded to a 911 call about a suicidal teen on December 30 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
Although the teen’s hands were raised, Crump said police fired at least seven shots, killing the 19 year old adopted from Shanghai, China by a Black father and Filipino American mother, Gareth and Fe Hall. Police says Hall did not cooperate with them and pointed a gun at them.
Fighting through tears, Fe described the agony the family is going through without their son.
“He needed help. He needed someone to talk him out of hurting himself, but instead of protecting him, he was killed by the very force that was supposed to protect. Instead of preserving, the police took his life. I wonder if he was not a person of color, if he was not Chinese, would the outcome had not been different?”
Crump equated the killing of Hall to that of George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor.
“If we stand for justice for all of these individuals, then we have to stand for justice for our Chinese brother Christian Hall because Christian Hall’s life matters,” Crump said.
The family is calling for the Pennsylvania Attorney General to conduct a state investigation into the young man’s death.
Rev. Sharpton began the news conference by condemning violence and hate against Asian Americans and urged others to do the same.
“Let it be clear when you attack an Asian American because of who they are, you attack all of us because of who we are. You cannot fight hate by being a conduit or accomplice to hate itself. Silence is an accomplice.
“I wanted to come and stand with the Asian American community as they have stood with us and as we must stand together.”
Christian’s mom reflected on what happened that fateful day on December 30 and took comfort knowing her son is now with his creator.
“On December 30, my husband and I went home from the hospital without our son. I know when God calls us home we will see him again. But on this side of heaven, we will not. I know that right now he is with his creator, wrapped in his God’s hands. He is free. He’s at peace. He has no more tears, no more fears, no more heart aches. But on this side of heaven there will always be an empty seat at the table. His room will always be dark and the house quiet without his voice and his laughter.”
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