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Officer Calvin Hall Remembered For Wanting ‘To Make A Difference’ In His Community

Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall was remembered by many as a difference-maker. 

Family members and loved ones, as well as law enforcement officers from around the state packed Soldiers & Sailors Hall in Oakland on a sunny Tuesday to saya final goodbye to Hall, who was 36 years old. 

Police Chief Scott Schubert remembered Hall as someone who was thoughtful, taking time to go above and beyond his role as an officer.

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The processional was played by the Greater Pittsburgh Police Emerald Society Pipes & Drums. The funeral also included the scripture readings from Psalm 23 and John 14, as well as several musical solo performances.

"What hit me is how Calvin would check on ... a patient at the hospital," Schubert said. "It's those little acts of kindness that determine the character of a person."

Hall was assigned to the Northview Heights Public Safety Center, a substation that serves the Northview Heights public housing complex in the North Side's Zone 1. Zone 1 Cmdr. Christopher Ragland recalled how Hall impacted the lives of those he encountered, saying he "jumped at the opportunity [to work in Northview Heights] and quickly developed relationships with the residents."

Hall's fiancée, Angel Warren, sat in the front pew with a number of his friends and family members. Hall's sister, Eugenia Hall Miller said she is saddened that they will never see Hall's "big, beautiful smile again." Hall's father, Curtis Washington, performed a song that he began writing when his eldest son was born. He added to it when Hall was born, and he said he finished it after Hall died. 

City officials attended the service, including all nine city councilors and Mayor Bill Peduto.

"Thank you for sharing him with us," Peduto said to Hall's family. "That perseverance, that strength, that courage was with him since he was little and it was with him until the day we lost him." 

Rev. Earlene Coleman of Bethlehem Baptist Church in McKeesport delivered the sermon, emphasizing the fact that Hall was killed while trying to be a peacemaker.

Though off-duty at the time of his death, Pittsburgh police said Hall "was in fact acting under the color of the law when he was fatally shot."

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Police officers line up in front of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall for Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall's funeral on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

"His death meant something," Coleman said. "His death meant that in our communities, we must come together. His death meant that we can still stand for what's right. His death meant we can still stand, and we can still try to keep peace." 

Hall's partner Reggie Eiland described a tight relationship between himself and Hall, saying "we immediately clicked."

"We laughed together, we got in trouble together, listened to each other's problems," he said. "We corrected each other when the other was wrong."

Hall was shot three times in his back early Sunday, July 14. He died at UPMC Presbyterian three days later. Hall had been on the Pittsburgh Police force for two years. Before that he served on the police department in Braddock. Eiland, visibly emotional, remembered getting the call that Hall had been shot.

"From that moment I never left his side," Eiland said. "When Calvin died in [front of] my face, I couldn't believe it. I lost my partner and I lost my brother."

Hall is being buried at the Homewood Cemetery. 

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The body of Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall sits in a hearse ahead of the burial at Homewood Cemetery on Monday, July 23, 2019.

On Monday, Pittsburgh police announced they had arrested and charged Christian Bey with criminal homicide. Prior to being charged, he was detained last week on a parole violation and was described as a "person of interest."  

WESA digital editor Sarah Kovash contributed to this report. 

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.