As the nation mourns the injustice surrounding the shooting death of Michael Brown, another young black man’s murder recently suffered a similar fate.
22-year-old Darrien Hunt was shot in the back four times in September for indulging in a harmless activity that raised enough suspicion to ultimately put his life at risk. Hunt, who was an anime cosplayer, was playing around with a make-believe sword when police officers came up to him in the parking lot of a mall in Saratoga Springs.
The encounter forced Hunt to take off running, and a surveillance camera captured the intense moments leading up to the shots being fired by the cops.
Robert Sykes, the attorney for Hunt’s family confirmed that based on the footage, it was clear that the young man feared for his life, “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”.
Others who have also examined the video noted that Hunt, Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson, only communicated for about 37 seconds before firing 7 shots.
On Nov. 3 the judge in the case sided with the officers and concluded that the use of deadly force was justifiable based on the story provided by the officers who testified that Hunt didn’t comply when asked to drop his sword, and instead “swung or stabbed it towards at least one of the officers”.
Sykes, insists that the video footage doesn’t support their version of events nor does it explain why Hunt was shot in the back. A planned civil suit in the works, but in the meantime, both officers got their badges back.