Shooting of Son Was Motivated By Race, Says White Mom of Black Man Killed By Utah Police

Susan Hunt, son killed in Utah
Susan Hunt, right, is consoled by her sister, Cindy Moss, after Utah police shot and killed her son, Darrien Hunt


*Law officials are faced with the task of justifying the fatal shooting of yet another black man by their officers. This time, the shooting occurred in Utah, where a 22-year-old African American man is gunned down by officers in Saratoga Springs because they allege he “lunged toward the officers with a sword.” But Susan Hunt, the mother of Darrien Hunt, finds this hard to believe. She says her son was carrying a toy sword with a rounded edge, not a blade, that he had purchased as a souvenir at an Asisan store when he was killed. She criticized the police department saying she believes the outcome would have been different if he had not been black.

Now, as this family prepares the burial of their beloved, they want answers. They want details on how a young man they said was running away from officers, ended up dead from their gunshots last Wednesday.

On Saturday afternoon, law enforcement authorities issued a statement saying that the man lunged at officers with a sword.

According to the Deseret News police say they were called at approximately 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday to investigate a “suspicious” man walking near businesses along Redwood Road carrying a “Samurai-type sword.”

Photo of victim, Derrien Hunt, is placed at a vigil in his honor
Photo of victim, Derrien Hunt, is placed at a vigil in his honor

Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor said via statement, “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.”

Before the statement was issued, Susan Hunt told the Deseret News: “They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.

“Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family. And they ruined my family.”

The city issued the statement below, and said the shooting was under investigation by the county attorney’s office.

“We sympathize with Mr. Hunt’s family during this difficult time,” the statement says. “Any claim that our officers’ actions were a result of Mr. Hunt’s race is completely unfounded and speculative. Our officers responded to a call for service and addressed the situation that was presented to them.”

According to Susan Hunt, her son was carrying a Katana, a souvenir sword bought from an Asian gift store that has a rounded edge, not a blade.

Susan Hunt is white, and the boy’s father is black, the Standard-Examiner of Ogden reported. Hunt had just returned to Utah after separation from her husband to start a new life for the family.

She said she and her family fled from an abusive relationship and her son was still trying to process many emotions.

“My son is a tender heart who would not hurt anybody,” she said. “My son is a beautiful, bright-eyed, intelligent boy.”

Stock photo of a Katana, Japanese Samuri sword.
Stock photo of a Katana, Japanese Samuri sword.

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