While America waited for a grand jury to decide whether to indict a police officer in the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a Utah County Attorney ruled the police shooting of another young black man "justified."
Darrien Hunt, 22, was shot four times in the back in September while carrying a replica sword and possibly cosplaying as an anime character. Police confronted him in the parking lot of a Saratoga Springs mini-mall, and opened fire after he allegedly lunged at them.
Surveillance video from a Panda Express and a gas station shows an officer following Hunt, then Hunt can be seen fleeing at top speed in the opposite direction as two cops give chase.
Investigators said the verbal exchange between Hunt and the officers, Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson, lasted just 37 seconds. They fired 7 shots.
Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman ruled the use of deadly force justified on Nov. 3, based on police testimony that Hunt refused to drop his sword and "swung or stabbed it toward at least one of the officers."
The surveillance video doesn't cover that part of the exchange, and Sykes says there's not enough evidence to show it actually happened. And even if it did, he says, it doesn't justify shooting the fleeing man in the back. The family plans to file a civil suit against the department.
Meanwhile, both officers will be reinstated.