SARATOGA SPRINGS - Family and friends of Darrien Hunt gathered exactly one year after he was killed to commemorate his life and pay tribute. They wrote messages, tied them to balloons and sent them into the sky.
"I know Darrien through his mother," said Ali Sa'id Nural-Din, while stapling his message to a balloon. "She talked about him often. She said how loving he was, how caring he was.”
Before releasing the balloons, Darrien's mother, Susan Hunt, grabbed a microphone and addressed the small crowd, telling them that they had recently turned down a $900,000 settlement offer from the city.
"We didn't care about the money amount," said Cindy Moss, Darrien's Aunt. "We cared that they were going to shut us up."
Moss claimed that included in the settlement, was a gag order to prevent the Hunt family from discussing the case further.
“I don’t care," said Susan Hunt, Darrien's mom. "They don’t have to give me a dime. Clear my son’s name. Let them know that he did not do anything, that he did not commit a crime.”
Susan Hunt says police tarnished her son's name when they chased him down in a Saratoga Springs shopping mall and shot him seven times, killing him. Surveillance video shows police responding to a 911 call of a man walking with a samurai sword. Police explain that later, off camera, Hunt unsheathed his sword and waived it at two officers before trying to run. Officers then chased after him, until he fell to the ground a few blocks away.
A spokesperson for Saratoga Springs would not acknowledge Thursday that a settlement offer had been extended, saying that the city doesn't comment on on-going investigations until they are complete.
Susan Hunt says she's moving forward with her suit she filed against the city and two police officers in January. Thursday, she announced that the family's case is now being taken over by the Johnnie Cochran Law Firm.