On September 10, 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was
shot six times in the back
and killed by two police officers in Saratoga Springs, Utah. New evidence proves that police have told at least two huge lies (and maybe another) in their attempt to justify the shooting. What follows is an account of those lies.
Lie #1: As the first officer exited his vehicle, Darrien Hunt lunged at him with his sword.
Detectives and medical examiners are consistently among the first officials on the scene of a police-involved shooting death. Their initial reports are particularly valuable because they regularly have the earliest documented statements from the officers involved in the shooting. As late as six days after the shooting death of Darrien Hunt, the police admitted that they had not even interviewed the officers involved yet, giving them ample time to prepare their stories. Similarly, the earliest known statement we have about the shooting death of Missouri teenager Mike Brown on August 9 in Ferguson came from a detective and was included in the autopsy report. It is inconsistent with later stories purported to be from Officer Darren Wilson.
In the newly released autopsy report in the shooting death of Darrien Hunt, it states the earliest known account of the police perspective as follows:
The first officer exited his vehicle and the subject charged him swinging the sword. Three shots were fired (at Hunt) upon the initial contact.
This photo alone, taken by bystander Jocelyn Hansen, contradicts that story and proves that both officers had exited their vehicle and were talking to Hunt.
Lie #2. Police claimed Hunt took acid and was on drugs but his toxicology report came back negative for all drugs and alcohol.
In apparent attempt to smear Hunt, police made a strange and absurd claim in their report, which states the following:
"(Hunt) apparently liked hallucinogens and had taken acid approximately three weeks (prior to the shooting)."
However, when the state toxicology report came back
, it proved that Hunt was not under the influence of any drugs whatsoever—making the police statement about Hunt being on drugs seem like an absurd attempt to justify the shooting.
Potential Lie #3. Witness Leonard Zogg says police have deliberately misrepresented what he said he saw on September 10.
In the earliest police report from the day Hunt was killed, Leonard Zogg is quoted as saying he saw Hunt lunge at the officers and swing his sword at them. Zogg emphatically denies ever seeing any such thing and states that he never stated anything of the sort. Zogg also states that he told detectives that the police began shooting at Hunt after he started running away, but that the report states Zogg told them Hunt ran away after he was fired upon. While it is nearly impossible to confirm what Zogg did or did not tell the police originally, his public avowal that he has been misrepresented, when considered alongside these two other lies, is highly concerning.
These cases of police inconsistencies are troubling at best and must be investigated.