New footage has surfaced today in the September shooting of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt, who was shot four times in the back by Saratoga Springs police after the police claim that he lunged at them with a sword.
Hunt, who was carrying a replica sword and possibly cosplaying an anime character, was confronted by police in the parking lot of a mini-mall, where they opened fire after he allegedly assaulted them. On November 3, the county attorney, Jeff Buhman, said that the shooting was “justified.”
“I find that Saratoga Springs Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson were justified in their use of deadly force against Mr. Hunt,” said Buhman. “Their belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury was reasonable.”
However, surveillance footage from three nearby stores — Top Stop gas station, Walmart, and Panda Express — suggests otherwise.
The cameras show the officers following Hunt, and then Hunt fleeing at top speed in the opposite direction. The two cops then give chase.
Investigators said that the verbal exchange between Hunt and the officers, Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson, lasted about 37 seconds. The two officers then fired 7 shots. Buhman based his November 3 ruling on police testimony that Hunt refused to drop his sword and that he “swung or stabbed it toward at least one of the officers.”
And while the surveillance footage doesn’t cover that part of the exchange, the Hunt family attorney Robert Sykes, claims there’s not enough evidence to show that the assault actually happened. What’s more, Sykes claims that if it did happened, it doesn’t justify shooting the fleeing man in the back.
“You can tell that this young man is running for his life, and he’s being fired at by a cop, and there’s no apparent reason for it,” Sykes told Fox 13 Salt Lake.
The family is planning a civil suit against the department.
The two officers were, of course, reinstated.
Here we are, another story of a man with a big knife (supposedly) threatening police. This is the third time in my recent memory that something like this has happened: the first time, it was a black man in St. Louis approached police with a knife, and he was gunned down by police. The second time, it was a white supremacist who resisted police. They didn’t shoot him.
Apparently, black men aren’t even allowed to have toys that look like weapons.But white people who want to pretend they’re Dirty Harry can walk around carrying the real thing and not worry about police harassment.
You can watch the footage below: