NAACP Claims Darrien Hunt's Civil Rights May Be Violated

Nov 10, 2014

Information updated 11/12/14. 

On Monday, officials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced they have requested an independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into Darrien Hunt’s death.

NAACP officials said during a press conference that race played a factor in the shooting of the 22-year-old African American male by two Caucasian police officers. They claim improper use of fatal force could be a violation of Hunt’s civil rights.

The Utah County Attorney’s Office reported that as police officers confronted Hunt on September 10, he abruptly and without provocation withdrew a samurai sword and swung it toward officers. Cpl. Matt Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson of the Saratoga Springs Police Department pursued Hunt on foot into a commercial shopping area. Six shots were fired in total and the chase ended with Hunt’s death.

The Hunt family attorney, Bob Sykes, said Hunt's actions did not warrant deadly force. Sykes said during Monday’s conference that he does not yet believe the County Attorney’s claims that Hunt swung the sword at officers or that he showed any signs of aggression. The civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit will determine if Hunt’s civil rights were violated.

Last week, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman announced that his office had found the officers’ actions to be justified. Buhman also said there was no evidence to indicate race was a factor in the situation.