The family of Darrien Hunt wanted to know why their son was shot and killed in front of a Panda Express this past Wednesday
After several days of silence Tim Taylor, the chief deputy attorney for Utah county, said in a statement on Saturday: “When the officers made contact with Mr Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr Hunt was shot.”
[bold my emphasis]
That wasn't good enough for the family of Darrien Hunt. More specifically, it was incongruous with autopsy evidence the family had had done on their dead son. The family's attorney, Randall Edwards explained:
[T]he family’s private autopsy had found Hunt was shot six times from behind. He was hit once in a shoulder, once in the back, once in an elbow, twice in a leg and once in a hand, according to the attorney.
“The shot that killed Darrien, which was straight in the back, did not have an exit wound,” Edwards told the Guardian. “It raises the question as to how you can lunge at someone and be shot in the back at the same time.” Edwards declined to identify the pathologist who had carried out the autopsy, citing a desire to protect him from media attention.
Right wing racists tried to point to the secrecy with which the family's attorney was protecting the identity of the pathologist, as an admission of the family's deception. No mention by racists concerning the troublesome amount of time the police took to make a statement. No mention that the police had yet to identify the police officers involved. Well, whether that autopsy was real or not, it seems that Darrien Hunt was indeed shot repeatedly in the back. How could this happen while he was lunging
at these poor frightened men with guns?
Taylor confirmed to the Guardian on Monday that Hunt was in fact alleged to have lunged at the officers outside a bank several dozen yards away from where he ultimately died. While it was outside the bank that Hunt was first “shot at” by police, Taylor said, it was not clear whether he was struck on that occasion.
Hunt then headed north and was shot several more times before eventually collapsing outside the Panda Express, according to Taylor. He said it was not clear if there were any further threatening moves. “Whether or not the individual lunged again at point two, the other location, I don’t know about that,” Taylor said.
Well, that's a different story completely. It's a literal 180 of a story. In the first version he is coming at the police with a sword. In the second version he is shot repeatedly as he runs the opposite direction of the police. What did these valiant officers, who remain on paid leave, in anonymity, say?
“We haven’t even interviewed the officers yet,” said Taylor. “We’ve talked briefly with them just to kind of get an idea of what the scene was at the time.” He said officers were typically interviewed within 48-72 hours of a shooting. One is now scheduled to be interviewed on Tuesday and the other on Thursday, more than a week after the shooting, he said.
“I’m stunned. I find that almost incomprehensible,” Edwards, the attorney for Hunt’s family, said after being informed of this by the Guardian. “You want to speak with the officers almost immediately afterwards, when their memories are fresh and before they have had a chance to corroborate their stories.”
It really does seem incomprehensible. But, as history is showing us, day after day, it's the way things are handled by our nation's law enforcement agencies.
There's more discussion and news on the case over at Frank Vyan Walton's diary.