Why Did Police Shoot Darrien Hunt?

An autopsy of Darrien Hunt is ensuring that America’s ongoing struggle with why young black men are getting killed by police isn’t going anywhere soon (whether or not the conversation itself goes anywhere is up to us). The bare facts of the case are this. Darrien Hunt was a 22-year-old black man in Saratoga Springs, Utah who was shot while carrying a samurai-style sword as part of his anime costume. At least two people saw the sword while Hunt was walking around a strip mall and called police. What follows is a little unclear. Police say Hunt asked them for a ride, and they told him they would need him to give up his sword before getting in the vehicle. Hunt allegedly resisted and swung his sword at one of the officers before taking off running. The police fired as he fled, and Hunt died at the scene.

A newly released autopsy generally agrees with officers’ version of the events, as Hunt was killed by multiple gunshots, at least four of which entered from behind. But the family’s lawyer says the use of deadly force was unwarranted, and that Hunt was treated differently because was black. Investigators have opened an inquiry into the case, the results of which could be made public as early as this week …

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