To hear prosecutors tell it, Darrien Hunt lunged at officers with a “samurai-type sword” before he was killed.
To hear his family tell it, police shot the 22-year-old several times while he was running away. An independent autopsy proves he was shot from behind, his family’s attorney said.
And while there’s no consensus about what happened last Wednesday morning, the Utah case is already drawing comparisons to the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Hunt’s mother said she believes race played a role in her son’s death.
“They killed my son because he’s black,” Susan Hunt told CNN affiliate KSL. “No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.”
Notice how it’s always because the suspect is “black”. It never has anything to do with the criminal activity the suspect may have been mixed up in, or their idiotic behavior. -MD
But the Utah County Attorney’s Office said there is “currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officer.”
“Police officers from the Saratoga Springs Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious individual walking around a local business with a ‘samurai-type’ sword,” Chief Deputy Tim Taylor of the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
“When the officers made contact with Mr. Hunt, preliminary evidence suggests that Mr. Hunt brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr. Hunt was shot.”
Hunt family attorney Randall Edwards challenged that version of events.