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Utah County Attorney rules shooting death of African American youth Darrien Hunt justified

By staff |
November 4, 2014
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Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah County Attorney justified the shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt by white police officers Schauerhamer and Judson. Hunt was confronted by the Saratoga Springs police officers on September 10. He was carrying a toy sword as a prop while cosplaying, dressed as an anime (cartoon) character. Someone who saw him walking on the street called 911 and reported him as suspicious. Within minutes, Hunt was shot dead while being questioned by police.

Hunt’s fatal encounter with police follows the high profile murder of Ferguson teen Michael Brown at the hands of white officer Darren Wilson. Similar to Ferguson, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman is giving the police officers a pass, while Darrien Hunt’s mother is left to grieve her son’s death.

The description of the deadly police encounter in a police search warrant differs greatly from that given by the medical investigator. The police search warrant affidavit claims, “The first officer exited his vehicle and the subject charged him swinging a sword”, completely leaving out the discussion that took place before the shooting.

In addition, authorities investigating Hunt’s shooting were caught manipulating testimony of an eyewitness at the scene. One witness, Leonard “John” Zogg came out publicly to correct authority’s claims that he witnessed Darrien Hunt swing a sword at officers. Zogg said he only saw Hunt unsheathe the toy sword.

In addition, independent and official autopsies contradict authority’s accounts that Hunt was shot down as he lunged at officers. The autopsy shows Hunt died of multiple gunshot wounds, including several to the back of his body as he fled the officers.

The death of Darrien Hunt is a tragedy for his family and yet another example of racial discrimination against African Americans in the U.S. The only legal recourse left for the family is a civil lawsuit, while the killers walk free and return to patrolling the streets.