Madden statement on Christian Hall case developments

STROUDSBURG, Nov. 19 – In response to the release of unedited Pennsylvania State Police video this week showing the final moments of a Dec. 30, 2020 situation involving 19-year-old Christian Hall, state Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, issued the following statement:

"We continue to mourn the avoidable loss of a 19-year-old who was in crisis when he was shot to death by Pennsylvania State Police troopers last December. The 11 months since have been crushing for Christian Hall’s parents, Gareth and Fe, whose mourning process has been hijacked by the ongoing need to defend their son against narratives based not in fact but on misdirection, as we learned definitively earlier this week with the release of unedited video of his final moments. 

"On that, this case absolutely needs an independent, unbiased investigation run by an agency not directly related to the case. Whether that’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro or even the FBI, the people involved deserve facts. They deserve truth. That has not been possible in the way this case has been handled thus far. 

"Christian had been diagnosed with depression before finding himself on the ledge of a highway overpass near Stroudsburg on Dec. 30. He called 911, anonymously at the time, to report a 'possible suicider.' Yet the events of that day – utterly tragic for all involved – could have, and should have, unfolded differently. 

"I do not now – nor will I ever – dare suggest there is anything less than heroic about choosing to work in the admirable but dangerous profession of law enforcement. Additional assistance, though, was available that day. Those in mental health crisis, as Mr. Hall most definitely was, as well as law enforcement officers working in the real-time situations like this, deserve help from social workers and other highly trained individuals who recognize the inherent challenges surrounding people in moments of high intensity.

"I continue to offer my support and heartfelt condolences to Christian Hall’s parents, entire family and friends, and I pledge further support by continuing to work on legislative solutions, including a bill requiring independent investigations by the AG of situations like this."