Prosecutor in Darrien Hunt Case Says Fatal Police Shooting Was Justified

Prosecutor in Darrien Hunt Case Says Fatal Police Shooting Was Justified

The family plans to file a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit.

Published November 4, 2014

(Photo: Darrien Hunt Memorial via Facebook)

The family of a young man who was carrying a sword while fatally shot by police plans to file a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit after Utah prosecutors announced the officers were justified, AP reports.

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said the two white Saratoga Springs cops “feared for their lives and the safety of others in the bustling shopping center” where the Sept. 10 shooting occurred. They fired seven shots at Darrien Hunt, a Black 22-year-old who was reportedly wielding a sword as part of a Japanese anime costume.

The family has accused the officers of discriminating against Hunt because of his race, claiming that his actions did not warrant deadly force. But at a recent news conference
Buhman said the investigation did not find any evidence that race or ethnicity played a role in the encounter.

"This happened so quickly, violently and without provocation the officers had to use what was most immediately available to them, which was their firearms," Buhman said. "It would have been a matter of seconds before he could have reached someone else."

Additional details from the investigation were also released including a search warrant filed in state court. The family’s attorney, Bob Sykes, told reporters on Monday that a jury would disagree with the prosecutors' findings.

"So many young men and young women are being shot down and killed by police officers improperly using deadly force," he said.

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Written by Patrice Peck

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