Family: Utah Man Was Cosplaying Samurai Champloo When Shot, Killed by Police
posted on by Egan Loo
The lawyer for the family of Darrien Hunt, the 22-year-old man allegedly shot and killed by police officers in Saratoga Springs, Utah last week, said that the family believes Hunt was cosplaying an anime character when he was shot. In particular, the family's attorney Randall Edwards said that they believe Hunt was dressed as the character MUGEN from the anime Samurai Champloo, with a Japanese-style katana sword on his back.
On September 10, two officers confronted Hunt while he was carrying the sword near a credit union in Saratoga Springs. After one shot was fired near the credit union, Hunt was shot and killed about 200 yards away near a Panda Express restaurant.
Police said Hunt brandished the unsheathed sword and lunged at the officers. Edwards said that an independent autopsy reported that Hunt was shot six times in the back.
During the Friday press conference, Edwards showed a printout of a Twitter post by Jamelle Bouie:
This is what Hunt was wearing when he was killed. Compare to the character from Samurai Champloo. Was he cosplaying? pic.twitter.com/TlFS49OTYJ— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) September 15, 2014
Edwards also displayed a drawing of an armored character by Hunt, and handed out a Samurai Champloo image to identify MUGEN. ABC4 showed another photograph, taken by witness Jocelyn Hansen, which indicates that Hunt was wearing a red collared shirt on the day of the shooting:
Hunt's mother, Susan Hunt, had said last week, "They killed my son because he's black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he's running away." Edwards said he plans to request an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI into the Saratoga Springs police and the shooting.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andy Burton denied charges of racial profiling, and said that he welcomes any external investigation. On Friday, the department identified the two officers in shooting as Corporal Matt Schauerhamer and officer Nicholas Judson. Both are now on paid administrative leave while the Utah County Officer-Involved Shooting Protocol Team investigates the shooting.