POLICE BRUTALITY/TERRORISM STRIKES AGAIN: Witnesses Say A Utah African-American Man Was Running Away From Police When They Shot & Murdered Him [TW: Racism, Ethnocentrism, White Privilege]
An attorney for the family of the 22-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Utah police last week says the evidence suggests he was running away—contradicting earlier reports that he had “lunged” at the police officers.
Darrien Hunt attracted police attention Wednesday morning outside Saratoga Springs when he allegedly began walking around with a samurai sword. His family later described the sword as a “harmless 3-foot souvenir sword with a rounded edge” purchased at a gift shop, the AP reports.
Hunt was reportedly shot at least four times and died on the street outside a Panda Expressrestaurant.
Police initially claimed they shot him after he “brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword,” Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor told reporters.
But Hunt’s mother—and some witnesses—say otherwise.
"They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away," Susan Hunt told the Deseret Times. “Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family. And they ruined my family.”
According to the LA Times, there’s evidence that suggests the shooting may not have been warranted:
According to Salt Lake City attorney Randall K. Edwards, an independent autopsy conducted Saturday at the behest of Hunt’s family showed Hunt had been shot “numerous times,” none from the front.
"This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene, who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from the police," Edwards said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. "It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with the story released by the Utah County Attorney’s Office that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot. We continue to hope that a full investigation will reveal the whole truth about this tragedy."
The LA Times does note, however, that Edwards declined to identify the pathologist or provide reporters with a copy of the report.
[image via ABC 4 Utah]
Source: Gabrielle Bluestone for Gawker