Utah Police Shoot Man Dressed in Anime Costume and Carrying Sword

210ba04e-d6d3-49fe-8e61-41cc9735b6b8-620x372There is a highly disturbing controversy outside of Salt Lake City where Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot six times by police officers who claimed that he charged them with a sword. Hunt was dressed in a Japanese anime costume with a 2 ½ foot steel sword that the family insists was nothing more than a prop. An autopsy released this week shows that several of the shots entered in the back of his body. The case has raised racial concerns since Hunt was black and the officers were white.

The shooting occurred on September 10th after someone called about a man swinging a sword. Hunt was wearing a red shirt and blue pants similar to an anime character. The officer said that he fired three shots when Hunt charged at him as the officer got out of his car. When Hunt ran away, the police fired four more times.

79b47bd4-9be4-49ff-9f2e-092f8344d82d-620x372No drugs were found in his system and a picture taken by a bystander shows Hunt smiling and talking to the two officers. The prosecutors have acknowledged that Hunt talked to officers after they arrived and asked them for a ride. If that is true, they clearly would have gotten a close view of the sword.

The officers have been identified as Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson from Saratoga Springs just south of Salt Lake City.

promo234674944What is striking is that days after the shooting, the officers still had not been interviewed according to some coverage and that account of the police department changed. The delay in the interviews raised a past controversy over police moving to protect officers from having to give statements immediately after shootings. We discussed the outrageous policy of Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed a new policy that would require officers involved in a shooting to wait 72 hours before making a statement. The policy came after a scandal where a surveillance video showed one of Brown’s officers shooting a mentally ill suspect for no apparent reason. The video contradicted the officer’s testimony and undermined the charge against the victim. Brown’s solution was not greater disciplining and monitoring of officers but to impose a delay to allow officers to craft their statements.

The police officers say that they asked Hunt to put the sword on the hood of the patrol car and that he refused — saying “it is my sword.” They say that he then began to swing the sword at them when they decided to use lethal force to protect themselves and others. Below is the picture of sword which seems quite real.

What I am most interested in is the witness testimony. If someone took the above picture, clearly there must be eye witness accounts as to whether Hunt was swinging the sword at the officers. If so, it could be found a justifiable use of force under controlling standards. Once again, total transparency is needed in such a case to assure the public that an independent and thorough investigation is being conducted.


Source: USA Today

82 thoughts on “Utah Police Shoot Man Dressed in Anime Costume and Carrying Sword”

  1. That certainly looks like a katana sword. I wonder how things could go so wrong from the smiling photo? Why haven’t the officers been interviewed yet, so long after the shooting?

    They need to investigate and be transparent.

  2. Well, I am no supporter of police shootings, but my goodness, don’t go around swinging your sword in public.

    A Slice of Life???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a fellow named Hunt
    Who is dead now, and may I be blunt?
    Keep your sword in its sheath!
    Or you’ll lie neath a wreath
    When the po po you try to confront.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. In a society that values privacy rights, one of the few people who should be under constant scrutiny is the local police chief. We should demand transparency on all investigations of the police.

  4. These seems like a senseless tragedy. It should be investigated and if the police are at fault they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  5. I keep reading these stories of Black men being assaulted by police and left dead. In the meantime, I am remembering that the Civil Rights Act was passed 50 years ago, more than enough time for this generation of police to have grown up in a less race conscious period than did I. Yet, we seem to have the Klu Klux Klan operating in a different uniform.

    One wonders, in the Politically Correct Speaking generation whether or not racism, or for that matter any kind of ignorant ism, has been driven underground. In the old days, you knew who your enemy was just by the way they addressed you.

    1. elrondsilvermaul – start with the number of stops of black men by the police in a year and then divide by number of innocent black men shot by police in a year. See what the percentage is. DO NOT include guilty black men.

  6. So a black man is shot six times, four times from the back, by two white cops. The police claim the killing is justified because, for no rational reason, the completely sober guy, in a costume with a decorative sword, decided to charge one of two armed, uniformed officers. Specifically,:

    The officer said that he fired three shots when Hunt charged at him as the officer got out of his car. [emphasis added]

    Then up pops a picture of both officers already out of their cars showing no sign of a confrontation whatsoever. The soon to be killed man is even smiling.

    Now why would an honest cop say he was charged as he was getting out of the car if that clearly was not what happened? That’s just not an honest mistake in remembering.

    That’s making up a story and getting caught.

  7. Well, Nick, I don’t dismiss anyone calling for justice as racist, and I don’t take one side before all the facts are in, I am funny that way.

  8. po, Like the cop who pointed the gun @ my head and screamed, “HANDS..HANDS, I know you are way too emotional. So, I will do what I did w/ the cop. I will be calm. We will have to respectfully and profoundly disagree. Read my comments on the Teenagers in Ma. if you want to see my respect for ALL cultures, not just the appointed protected ones. I hang w/ black people, they are not a monolith, not matter how hard white liberals and black ”
    activist” try and make them.

  9. Nick Spinelli
    po, Breathe. I have not said this shooting was righteous. I DON’T KNOW. But, you are ASSUMING this, and all shootings of black people by white cops is racism. Breathe.
    Thanks for the reminder, Nick, valuable advice.
    Now, you are taking those who condemn the shootings to task for playing the race card…um…that sounds a bit racist/racial! I have yet to say that all shootings of black by white cops are racist shootings. SHow me where I said that and I’ll buy you dinner.

    I have said that the value of a black life is less in this country, that the lessening of the black life, a necessity of slavery and its demonization, a necessity of Jim crow are things we still deal with. We/cops are trained to see the black man as inherently dangerous and worthless, and are therefore unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt in any situation, personally, and institutionally when he is killed while unarmed and he is still blamed for his death.
    One group is fighting for their constitutional right not be killed, you and others condemn them for playing the race card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. po, I have related this story previously. I was in a very bad neighborhood doing a surveillance. All of a sudden a cop flew up in his car, gun drawn and screamed “HANDS..HANDS.” The adrenaline was pumping. I slowly and calmly put my hands on the dash and followed all his instructions in a calm manner. It turns out a vicious rape had just occurred in the area and the cops were checking everyone. I didn’t like the treatment. I could have been shot because this cop was on the verge of being out of control. There are few people here who know cops better than I. When they are wrong, I call them out. But, being a PI, I like to wait for the facts. I’m funny that way.

  11. I have also expressed my problems w/ the police acting too much like military, and that transcends race, they look upon all citizens as the enemy. THAT is a definite problem.

  12. po, Breathe. I have not said this shooting was righteous. I DON’T KNOW. But, you are ASSUMING this, and all shootings of black people by white cops is racism. Breathe.

  13. Bailers, you’re not alone. I’m also white, grad degree, middle aged, middle class background, raised to respect the police and told they were my friend when I was a child. They’ve lost my trust. Too many documented cases of misconduct and too much turning a blind eye to misconduct by their own.

  14. Nick says” But, the race baiters here and elsewhere are making EVERY cop shooting of a black man “RAAACIST.” The Ferguson fiasco being a prime example. Riot first, gather the facts later. And, if the facts don’t go your way, riot against the justice system.
    Thanks for making my point against yourself, Nick! The bottom line is that there are a great many parents who lost their child for no apparent reason. Not only were they provided no answer, but their child is usually blamed for causing their own death even when they have done none of those things that usually justify being shot by the cops.
    One minute a person is alive, living, the next they are dead, and no valid justification is provided for the loss of their live. Either they did something to cause directly, or the system is good, it just happens that it sometimes misfires, and when it does, a person dies and no one is held accountable for it.
    I can guarantee you that if 10 private investigators were shot by the cops across the nation within the span of one year, you would lead a march on Washington demanding something be done.
    You are the one playing the race card by claiming that those demanding a stop to their oppression and killing at the hand of the cops are racist.
    May it never happen to you.

  15. The police are losing our trust.

    Rather than blaming the American public, they ought to ask why.

    If you are ever arrested in Dallas, try the 72 hour silence routine – experience first hand how negatively “the law” will react. Double standard.

  16. po, It means there are crazy people out there who will attack w/ anything. Talk to the folks who are calling EVERY shooting of a black man racist. I just said I don’t know if this shooting was justified.

Comments are closed.