Darrien Hunt’s mother believes he was shot and killed “because he was black.” On September 10, the 22-year-old man was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Saratoga Springs, Utah, Police Department. Although Darrien reportedly threatened the deputies with a sword, his mother believes the shooting was racially motivated.
On the morning in question, Darrien was spotted outside the Top Stop Convenience Store — with a large sword in his hand. A witness called 911 at approximately 9:40 a.m. to report the suspicious activity.
When authorities arrived on scene, they approached Darrien Hunt and asked him to drop the weapon. However, according to witnesses, the suspect attempted to flee. As reported by Standard Examiner, the officers opened fire and Darrien was shot at least four times. The 22-year-old man died as a result of the injuries.
Susan Hunt said her son purchased the “toy” sword at gift shop. She believes the officers overreacted because Darrien was black.
“They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away… Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family. And they ruined my family.”
In an official statement, the Utah County Attorney’s Office denied the accusations.
“We sympathize with Mr. Hunt’s family during this difficult time… Any claim that our officers’ actions were a result of Mr. Hunt’s race is completely unfounded and speculative. Our officers responded to a call for service and addressed the situation that was presented to them.”
Although Susan said her son was targeted because of his race, Darrien Hunt’s criminal record suggests otherwise. In January, Darrien was arrested for assaulting his mother, sister, and two other family members in a drunken rage. As reported by Raw Story, he eventually plead guilty to misdemeanor assault.
As a condition of the plea agreement, Darrien was required to complete a substance abuse program. He was also required to seek mental health counseling. It is unclear whether he followed through with the requirements.
Authorities have not discussed the specific details of the events leading up to Darrien Hunt’s death. However, several witnesses said he was running toward a Panda Express restaurant when he was shot.
It is unknown what prompted authorities to shoot and kill Darrien Hunt. Although he was clearly holding some kind of sword, Susan Hunt believes her son would still be alive if he had been white.
[Image via The News Starts Here]