It’s difficult to understand why so many young black men are being shot and killed by the police. Some of the shootings might be justified, but police trust is so low that the people don’t know who to believe. Also, many theories on racial bias state that police have a natural fear and aggression toward black males which may cause them to overreact when they are confronted.
Prosecutors in Utah are under fire for announcing that police officers were justified in the shooting of a young black man who held a sword that was part of a costume. Officers claim that they feared for their lives and the lives of others when they confronted the man in a shopping center.
As a result of the interaction, police fired seven shots into 22-year old Darien Hunt, killing him on the spot.
Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman gave the details of the situation at a press conference this week.
Darrien’s family say that his race was part of the reason that police chose to use deadly force. The two officers were white and the family says that they didn’t have to kill him. The family is planning to file a lawsuit soon and aren’t backing off of this one so easily.
The fatal encounter was triggered by somebody calling in a report of a suspicious person walking with a sword in Saratoga Springs, a middle-class city south of Salt Lake City.
Police Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson spotted Hunt and began having a normal conversation with him, Buhman said. Hunt said he wanted a ride to a nearby city but when they asked him to give up his sword, he refused and his demeanor changed. That’s when he swung the 3-foot metal sword at them, Buhman said.