22-year-old Black man, Darrien Hunt was fatally shot by Utah police last week. Prosecutors claim that Hunt lunged at the officers with a sword that had a 2.5-foot steel blade. However, Hunt’s family is saying that’s not true! They claim he was carrying a toy sword and Hunt’s mom says they shot Hunt because he was Black. Black people make up 1.3 percent of the population in Utah. “He’s not a violent person. He’s never been in a fight in his life,” Hunt’s friend Deshawn Ragsdale told KTSU.
Police were called to investigate a “suspicious” man walking near a strip mall while carrying a “samurai-type sword.” Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor says that investigators are talking with witnesses and gathering surveillance video in order to piece together what happened. “Somewhere in between that call and them [police] coming and him getting shot, something happened,” Ragsdale claims.
But as it stands, the Saratoga Springs Police Department is under fire over the fatal shooting. They police department took to their Facebook page to urge people not to share information about the shooting on social media. It also accused the media of reporting innuendo, opinion and rumor as fact. The post has since been removed, but here’s a small part of it:
“Everyone should remember that the news outlets have ratings they need to gain. They don’t report facts. They use innuendo, opinion and rumor and then report it as fact. The real facts are being determined by an independent investigation, and not in a rushed or haphazard manner.”
Randall Edwards, an attorney for the family of Darrien Hunt, called the statement foolish. However accusing the media is a typical response when the facts don’t show the police in the best light. Edwards said an independent autopsy requested by the family shows Hunt was shot six times, all from behind, which he said demonstrates that Hunt was running away. He said Hunt died from a bullet that hit him square in the back. The police department declined to comment on this autopsy and is instead waiting on the results of the autopsy by the state medical examiner. The two officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, per standard protocol.
We’re sure it’s paid leave. Yet another Black life lost through the hands of the police. While it’s unsure whether or not Hunt was carrying a weapon of if he lunged at police, him being shot in the back sounds like murder. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
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