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. Cowardly cops? Someone puts his fist through the car, causing the gun to fire and injuring the policeman’s eye. The policeman gets out of his car, his duty to protect people. Someone crazy enough to attack him in his car could be dangerous. I see that as brave!

  2. The stupidity of the cowardly cops cannot be overstated. They get away with murder every day.

  3. Po, heed Paul’s words. The hysteria fomented by Al Sharpton was a disservice to everyone. I sympathize with the family, especially for the usery by Sharpton. Your passion, well meant, won’t change any facts. A Grand Jury is considering all information. That jury is comprised of citizens from all walks of life, they serve voluntarily spending long hours. Hopefully, their decision will be respected by everyone.

  4. Sandi, are you serious? You demand we wait to know the facts and yet you indulge in heavy condemnation and assumptions that are factless! Everyone who has said to wait for the facts to come out already made up their mind that Officer Wilson was justified until those facts to come, at some point I hope, prove them otherwise. many eywitnesses mention no punching of the cop by Mike Brown, yet here you are accepting that narriative not only as factual but build the rest of your case on that!
    What kind of people are you that when a young man loses his life for no apparent reason, and a mother lost her son for no apparent reason, your sympathies go to the killer rather than the victim? Man, some of us are in dire need of finding their misplaced humanity!

    1. po – no witness seems to have seen the beginning of the incident. We do know that Michael Brown was combative moments earlier and may have carried that with him from the Quiki Mart where he stole the merchandise. There are contact gunshot wounds on Brown’s hand from a shot from Wilson’s weapon. This shows that at some point Brown had his hand on Wilson’s gun and it fired.

      We do have several witnesses (black) who mention Brown with his hands and arms inside the police vehicle and possibly punching Wilson. Po, I think you need to go back and look at the evidence. Not the touchy-feely story told by the family’s attorney. The facts, Po, just the facts.

    1. If the police asked me to put something even remotely dangerous somewhere in particular I daresay I would explain each step. “Now I am going to remove the sword from its sheath by reaching the handle over my shoulder…” might have saved a life. Assuming Sandi is right and he was playing Samurai.

      On Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 12:40 PM, JONATHAN TURLEY wrote:

      > Sandi Hemming commented: “Paul, the police had asked him to put it on > the roof of the car. In doing so he seems to have play Samuri, which would > scare me.”

      1. George – actually, that last time I was stopped by the police I said to them, “I am going to reach for my glove box to get my registration. Are you okay with that?” Personally, had I been this young man I would have asked the officer to take the ‘weapon’ off my back himself. Or wait for someone to do it. All the time my hands would be where they could see them.

  5. Carlyle, never said I was there; I listened to the various accounts of the situation. Since Brown had put his fist through the window trying to get the gun and injured Wilson’s eye, I would be wary. Many forget the officer is concerned with more than himself. He has to assess the safety of other people. Brown didn’t have that responsibility. He was walking toward the officer (varying witness reports about hands in air or not). Truthfully, it’s time to move on. The Grand Jury will not indict and everybody needs to stay home for their own safety. Troublemakers will turn up from everywhere else, stay home.

  6. I think some information should be available about something that happened on 9/14. I read the shots were not all in the back. Picture a guy waving a samurai sword. Swinging it requires body movement, which could account for shots in strange places. Did he taunt them verbally? How close did the sword get to either officer? Walking around with a sword on your back seems stupid. Swinging it around is more stupid.

    1. Sandi – if the sword is on his back, disarming himself requires swinging it over his head which could be taken as threatening gesture.

    2. The State Medical Examiner’s office found Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot six times by police, with some of the shots hitting Hunt from behind.

      “People are trying to justify killing my son. ‘He had to have been drunk. He had to have been on drugs,’ so that means the cops can kill him? But he wasn’t,” said Hunt’s mother, Susan Hunt.

      The family met with the press Tuesday to discuss the findings. Hunt’s mother became emotional as she reviewed the details, especially the “People are trying to justify killing my son. ‘He had to have been drunk. He had to have been on drugs,’ so that means the cops can kill him? But he wasn’t.” -Susan Hunt, mother of Darrien Hunt.state’s toxicology tests, which found Hunt was not under the influence of any substances at the time.

      “How can you justify the cops?” she asked.

      Hunt was shot on Sept. 10 outside a Top Stop convenience store in Saratoga Springs. Police were called to the shopping plaza after someone saw Hunt walking around with a “samurai-type” sword. When they arrived, the two officers who responded claimed Hunt lunged at them with the sword, which prompted the gunfire.

      “They chased him and had an old fashioned shootout, shootout at the O.K. Corral, so to speak, on an innocent boy, who had probably done nothing,” said family attorney Robert Sykes.

      The Utah County Attorney’s Office has been handling the investigation of the shooting, but did not respond to FOX13’s request for comment Tuesday.

      Skyes said while he is still in the process of interviewing witnesses of the incident, he does plan to file a lawsuit against the city once they’ve gathered all their evidence.

      “There was no justification to use deadly force on this young man,” Sykes said. “It was a violation, a serious violation, of his constitutional rights.”


  7. Sandi Hemming.

    You were there were you?

    There are various stories about the Mike Brown killing, some from the Black point of view and some from the police point of view. Those that assert them are all dogmatically positive that their story is the true one.

    I will restate my point with an “if”.

    If indeed Mike Brown indeed tried to surrender he was too late, it would not have terminated Darren Wilson’s terminate the threat mode, nor would it have put any obligation on Wilson to switch terminate the threat mode off.

  8. Carlyle, your assertion that Michael Brown was trying to surrender is simply not true. I know you are certain of your facts. However, I must point out that you are wrong, simply to keep accuracy in this thread. It would be best to wait until the facts, after investigation, are released. I also prefer to wait for investigation results before commenting on the sword incident.

    1. Sandy – How long do we have to wait to comment on the Darrien Hunt Incident. it happened on September 14th. He wasn’t high. We know that much. We know he was shot in the back 6 times and killed. We know his mother lost it and attacked Traffic cops on an unrelated incident on which she has not been charged yet but has been told it will probably be a misdemeanor.

      Personally it sounds like the Police State to me again. The Ferguson debacle is unfortunate. Especially to the residents because I happen to know it’s a nice little town for the most part. It is just full of low life’s from out of town with nothing better to do than causing problems now. As I have stated before, I grew up there. The Police have always been rather unfortunate, but then so was Michael Brown. Just my opinion 🙂

  9. You cannot understand police shootings of black men if you don’t understand how police’s terminate threat mode works.

    Once police switch into “terminate the threat mode” there is nothing that the source of the threat can do that obligates the police to switch terminate the threat mode off.

    For example, once Michael Brown had turned Darren Wilson’s terminate threat mode on by escaping lawful arrest and attempting to get his gun or perhaps trying to push the gun away from pointing at him, there was no obligation on Darren Wilson to stop terminating the threat because Brown stopped running away and tried to surrender.

  10. happy, Hopefully there will be a post about non PC Halloween costumes. I hear Ray Rice costumes are trending. The year after the great Roberto Clemente died, my hero, I went as Roberto’s ghost. A sheet w/ #21 inscribed and seaweed draped over my shoulders.

    1. Nick I am so glad because I am sick unto death of pc as in my town the women have taken to covering their mouths when they think they are laughing too loud and such. Please lets have some fresh air – or foul in this case 🙂

  11. “I don’t think there’s a war on blacks,”

    Me either. I think it is a war on stupid people doing stupid things.

    A little common sense goes a long way towards keeping you from taking the long dirt nap. Darwin’s law.

  12. I dunno, maybe it’s just me. Isn’t it a really stupid and likely a death-causing thing to run at police while wielding a big sword? You know, especially during beheading season?

    Shooting the perp in his back is pretty lousy, unless you believe that he may be running with his sword toward others with the intent of doing them great harm.

    I’m sorry the young man is dead, but criminy, he made a huge mistake.

  13. Sandi did you mean that you are glad no one you know is black?

    Wish you all never to have to walk through life with the weight of centuries of slavery and discrimination on your back and your psyche. May you never know what the parents of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, John crawford feel.

  14. I’m glad no one I care about is a policeman, nor black for that matter. Walking around with a sword on your back seems foolish, especially if you’re black. Plus, do what police ask. Put the sword on the car. It’s a weapon! Waving it around? I don’t think there’s a war on blacks, but even on this site we’ve seen so many pictures of black men charged with murder. The man in NYC attacked with an axe is in critical condition. I have a gun and someone is waving a sword around me, I’d shoot.

  15. issac

    The days of the sheriff shooting the gun out of the bad guy’s hand are over. The cops shot the kid face on swinging the sword, which seems somewhat reasonable. Then they fired into his back when he turned away. Doesn’t that merit a second look?

    You have got to be kidding right?

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