SALT LAKE CITY – The NAACP issued a statement regarding the officer-involved shooting that left Darrien Hunt dead in September, and the organization said they were outraged to learn that a body camera an officer was wearing was not active during the encounter.
FOX 13 News reported earlier this week on the announcement that Officer Nicholas Judson was wearing a body camera that was not activated, and Friday a protest was held at the headquarters for Saratoga Springs police.
Jeanetta Williams, President for the NAACP’s Salt Lake Branch and Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada and Utah, said they were outraged by the revelation.
“What good does wearing a Body Camera by officers [do] if they are not turned on?” she stated in a press release issued late Friday night. “…It is fortunate that a local business had video footage that showed Darien Hunt running away from officers and not attacking them.”
Williams said the newly released police report makes them feel justified in their decision to request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the shooting, which occurred September 10.
Police officials have stated Hunt lunged at the officers and that the officers fired on Hunt out of fear and kept firing as the man fled because they were concerned he would hurt or kill someone else in the area. The Utah County Attorney’s Office ruled the officer’s actions were justified.
The Hunt family has been critical of police in the months since, alleging that Hunt did not pose a threat and that his race may have played a role in the encounter. Hunt is half African-American.
They are considering a wrongful death lawsuit against Saratoga Springs police.