While most of the country is focusing on the shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri by a white police officer, the small town of Saratoga Springs, Utah has a similar controversy brewing. Several people called the police about a 22 year old black man, Darrien Hunt, who was walking around a shopping center with a sword. Police arrived, and shot and killed Hunt. It turns out the sword was plastic (neither bystanders, nor police knew that at the time.) An autopsy shows that Hunt was shot in the back, casting doubt on the police department’s version of events.
Police have looked into Hunt’s background and have discovered drug use. The family counters that drugs were not in Hunt’s system at the time of the shooting. “It’s another example of character assassination on this young man,” the family lawyer has said. To make matters worse, Hunt’s white mother, Susan has been charged by the police. Police had pulled over a motorist for a traffic violation. When Susan discovered the officers, she yelled at the officers, asking them if they were going to shoot the motorist, and police claim that she hit an officer on the arm with her purse. She has been charged with four misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. This just seems like a public relations nightmare for the Saratoga Springs police department.
A recent episode of This American Life documented a study by Texas A&M University, and found that black students received harsher punishment than white students for the same offenses.
Texas, somewhat miraculously, had followed every single public school student from seventh grade through graduation– the seventh graders of 2000, 2001, 2002. And they had documented everything– report cards, if the kid was poor, Asian, switched schools, gotten in trouble, followed them all the way through graduation.
So Thomson could ask the researchers in College Station at Texas A&M, how many white kids were suspended? For what? How many times? Which schools?
I was just– all these numbers. The image I have is these guys in Texas A&M with white lab coats. We would joke that all the lights would dim in College Station each time they would run an analysis of this thing, because it was such a massive data set.
The lab coats peered down at a million students’ lives– the schools they attended, how they did, when they got in trouble. And they determined that African American and Hispanic students were twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension than their white peers for their first offense. When they looked at African American boys in Texas, 83% were suspended at least once. And usually, they were suspended a lot more than once. That includes anything a school calls suspension.
But still, take 10 black boys, two of them made it through middle and high school without being suspended. And what kind of infractions were they getting suspended for? Most of the time, these were not for big things, like hitting a teacher or bringing a weapon to school. They were for things like disrespect, insubordination, willful defiance, the kind of incident that often begins when an angry kid won’t take his hat off.
OK, and one more striking thing you can see in the Texas numbers– kids who were suspended were much more likely to be arrested outside of school, three times as likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
To be honest, it was a little bit of a spine-tingling moment, because I kept thinking about how city advocates had been saying this is such a common event. And my instant reaction was, this is going to give a whole lot more credibility to this conversation than we’ve ever had before.
They’re right. I mean, what you’re saying is you’ve just found that they’re right.
Yeah. At that point, that’s right.
The idea of suspending a young person for bad behavior– what is that? A kid who’s disrespectful or insubordinate does not want to be in class. So you suspend them? Just saying that out loud, that sounds weird, right?
A couple years ago, the state of Maryland wrote a law– state legislator sat down and wrote this law– that says you cannot suspend students for being truant. If a kid skips school, you can’t punish him by telling him, you can’t come to school. They needed a law to make that clear.
I talked to a sociologist named Pedro Noguera who told me that, over the last few decades, suspensions have become the go-to move in response to disruptive behavior, for everyone, actually, but especially black and Hispanic kids.
Denying them learning time, which is, I think, the most ridiculous part of it.
And because of the Texas numbers, we now know that those same kids are at a much higher risk of being arrested. So is there a connection here? One way to look at this is just that our society gives tougher punishments to black and Hispanic kids when they are JJ’s age, when they’re in preschool, and when they’re in high school, and when they’re old enough to go to prison. The issue is not school. It’s just racism.
But Noguera says school is an important part of this picture. And here’s the theory he laid out for me. You suspend a kid, he misses school, he finds it hard to catch up, he feels frustrated, falls behind. And maybe just as important, he learns he is bad. Because he feels bad when he’s in school, he acts bad.
There’s this assumption that, if we get rid of the bad people, that the good people will be able to learn, the good people will be safe. What we continue to ignore is that we are producing the bad people. We’re producing in school the bad behavior.
Producing it through the system of punishment that convinces some kids that they’re bad.
In May, 2011, Michael Thompson got a meeting with the Attorney General of the United States. And he showed him the Texas numbers. And two months later, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Education were standing together at a press conference about discipline in schools. They started gathering their own numbers from schools, all over the country this time. And those numbers were worse, even in preschool.
In March this year, the Department of Education issued a report that said black children make up 18% of preschoolers, but they make up 48% of preschool children suspended more than once.
What do you make of this? Do you think police are harsher on blacks and minorities than whites?
I don’t think the shooting had anything to do with Hunt’s skin color. It sounds like he got shot b/c he lunged at a cop with a sword replica. And the cop, like any reasonable person, thought Hunt was trying to kill him.
Also, the article you linked to said that the sword was metal, not plastic.
Perhaps you are right about the sword. Initial reports stated it was plastic, but subsequent reports say it was metal but decorative.
Yes, the police are claiming he lunged at them, but the autopsy shows he was shot in the back, so I don’t know how that makes sense. He was lunging backwards? Even the Deseret News says the police story doesn’t add up: (see http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865610896/Investigators-Saratoga-Springs-man-was-shot-after-lunging-at-officers-with-sword.html?pg=all )
The SL Tribune seems to dispute that as well. http://www.sltrib.com/news/1753944-155/hunt-autopsy-sword-sykes-darrien-earlier
Unfortunately every new case involving police and a person of color will get the racial scrutiny prior to the event scrutiny.
Maybe it needs to be after the facts are known, but right now it is the first reaction that is it unjustified and it is racial.
Not sure what that other stuff is. Couldn’t follow it.
Jeff, are you referring to the Texas A&M study? They found that blacks and Latinos in Texas receive harsher punishments than whites in school, as well as the court system.
Hunt’s white mother certainly thinks he was shot because he was black.
Yeah, I got that, I just couldn’t follow the conversation outside of the typical responses. I was wondering if they tracked the people doing the discipline? What color were they and did that have any bearing on the outcome?
And are we surprised what Hunt’s Mother thinks? It might be true, But too early to tell at this point. The evidence doesn’t look good for police, but the exact reason why he was shot is more critical than the shot in the back probably is. Though that is just wrong on the face of it.
This comment below was written around Ferguson, and I found it meaningful then, but I find that its generalizable nature (if I hadn’t told you the context, it could describe any of a number of events) is really what is most striking to me.
Click this link for a photo of 3 of the Texas A&M researchers: http://liberalarts.tamu.edu/html/news–public-policy-research-institute-influences-presidential-initiative.html (Note they’re all white.)
Michael D. Thompson is white: http://csgjusticecenter.org/about-jc/staff/
The Martha Plotkin I found was white, but I’m not sure she is the same as the author of the article. I couldn’t find Tony Fabelo.
Does that persuade anyone about the bias the authors may have toward the subject?
Jeff, what makes you think it had anything to do with race?
The autopsy report said that at least one shot hit Hunt from the front. Which probably means he didn’t start running away until after he was shot.
My question is, Was he still holding the katana while running?
If he dropped the katana after being shot the first time, then I think the shots to the back were unjustified.
If not, I think shooting Hunt in the back was justified. Because he didn’t seem to be in his right mind, and had just tried to kill a cop, he should be considered a deadly threat to the rest of the people in the mall.
Imagine being the cop that didn’t keep shooting, and then having Hunt turn the corner and kill several people before he could be stopped.
I live in a county that is about split 50/50. Yet, as I read the newspaper day in and day out, about 90% of the crimes are committed by black males. Now, are those the only crimes being committed, or is there a bias in the newspaper reporting itself? I don’t think the newspaper is biased. The information is taken straight from law enforcement entries. So, are the police just ignoring some huge amount of crime being committed by whites? From my conversations with law enforcement personnel, black and white, that isn’t the case, either. So, a disproportionate amount of crime is occurring among a small number (roughly 25% of county population is black male). Is there going to be bias when a law enforcement officer is involved? Yes. It’s inescapable when his life is on the line, or when he’s trying to protect others. He usually has seconds to assess a situation, then respond. I dislike the propensity to play the race card every single time. I’m fine with a thorough investigation and then letting the chips fall where they may. Use of cameras is at an all time high, yet we still have the accusations of bias against minorities. You would think, with cameras rolling, we would see a decrease in complaints. As for the school stuff (suspension for preschoolers?) I’m a little skeptical. I’m not sure how you could even get the data (since it is probably confidential) much less determine the race of the teacher/school administrator administering the punishment. In my area, suspension means you go to an alternative school site for the day, that’s all. The student doesn’t just stay home. I can’t say discipline is lopsided. But in my own school district, which is about 80% black, (there are a lot of white kids in private school) we also have about 70% teachers and administrators who are black. Don’t know if there is any real favoritism shown to whites. They have a zero tolerance for everything under the sun. Talk to any teacher who’s taught for 20 – 30 years and I think you’ll get a consensus that students, black and white, have little to no respect for school authority. Perhaps we have spared the rod, only to spoil the educational system.
I have been stewing on this story for some time, as things just don’t seem to add up. I am just amazed that this happened, and can only make up a bunch of different scenarios where it ended like it did. Of course, with today’s over-the-top news stories and the local culture so spun up on the wickedness of “the world”, it doesn’t surprise me that some do-gooder called the police when a teen is walking along the street with some sort of “weapon”.
First, it is entirely legal to carry a sword, a knife, and …yes….even a gun out in the open. Why this warranted the police getting involved in the first place is an interesting question.
Second, with the recent “militarization” of the police, the attitude of officers seems to be one of “you will follow my commands yelled at you”. I am trying to imagine what that initial encounter must have been, but it’s hard to imagine that if the police officer had walked over to the boy and at least just had a conversation, things could have been resolved. However, Darrien may have been beligerent and and exhibited an aggressive posture. I know that I have been screamed at and commanded to remain in my car when pulled over for a simple traffic violation.
Third, clearly a teenager with a sword, once he has been shot once, is totally capable of hacking two officers wearing vests to death, thus emptying a clip into him with certainly keep the officers totally safe.
Again, I just have a hard time with this story and feel that this is such a good case for body cameras by police. I am sorry for this boy’s mother and to charge her only adds insult. I believe that the police will probably loose this one.
The real Utah shooting that should be looked at is when a black police officer shot and killed an unarmed white boy. He did not physically assault the officer like Ferguson; nor did threaten others with a perceived weapon. How is an officer to know it is plastic in the heat of the moment?
See the shooting of Dillon Taylor
The shooting was big news locally (not covered up like Limbaugh wants to claim), and there was quite a bit of hubbub. I remember this shooting well. The officer had a bodycamera. You can watch the video (if you’re not squeamish see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2776767/Body-cam-shows-shocking-moment-Utah-police-officer-shot-dead-unarmed-man-hands-pants-prosecutors-rule-justified.html) ; I agree with the District Attorney that the shooting was justified. Taylor looked like he was drawing a gun to me. Yes he had no gun, but in those split seconds, I’m not going to second guess the cop.
Rush Limbaugh gets it wrong on on two counts: (1) it wasn’t covered up. (2) Officer Bron Cruz is hispanic, not black.
But yes Ken, I think the militarization of the police force (because of 9-11) is a problem. We’ve turned police into soldier mentality, giving them SWAT teams, armored personnel carriers. They do a dangerous job, and I am grateful when they get things right, but they should also be accountable when they get things wrong.
IDIAT, you speak as if one has white privilege when viewing these things. Can you explain why more than 8 in 10 blacks have been suspended in Texas? Is this contributing to the delinquency of blacks, and thus causing them to turn more to crime because they don’t have an education to earn an honest living?
The article was not Limbaugh, but Kovas who referenced Limbaugh.
The Dillon shooting was, and should have been covered by the local press. Kovas, Limbaugh and others correctly pointed out it received little, if any national exposure. In contrast Ferguson received almost daily briefings when a black kid (who had just committed a strong armed robbery) and reportedly assaulted an officer reaching for his gun was killed.
What I always wonder is why do they keep using deadly force in these kinds cases? Why aren’t officers equipped with tazers more or other non – lethal options? Or why aren’t they trained to stop a perpetrator without killing them? I understand that cops need to defend themselves if they are being attacked, but death is a huge penalty for just about any crime.
Won’t deny the privilege. I grew up in Texas and the numbers cited in the study don’t come close to my lived experience. But I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when there was no such thing as suspensions. Discipline was straightforward. It took a fair amount of behavior to reach the point of actual expulsion. My oldest started school in 1991 and my last is a nineth grader. I have been actively involved in their schools, and they are in the minority. Eight of ten of their black male friends are not being suspended. But, if the number really is accurate for Texas for the period covered, I note the disrespect aspect. Suspension is the go to form of all disciplinary actions for just about anything. Unless the study says white teachers are imposing suspension on black students disproportionately, I am still skeptical of the study.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have had to make a split second decision to use lethal force? Most rational people will back off when pressed, especially to law enforcement. Most people that do not back off are either mentally unstable and don’t know when to quit, or are high resulting in super human strength. In both instances they statistically will agressively presue until there is a decisive decision.
I have a 45 caliber and a conceal carry permit. Most cops carry the same gun, or a similar 9mm weapon. The reason for a high caliber weapon is that it will usually stop most perps on the first shot. Given the split second process in such a situation you are trained to aim for the torso. If they still are coming at you the second shot to the torso. If they continue a third shot (this is usually all the time you will have) should bsue to the head.
The objective is to stop, not kill. If a 45 caliber will not stop a crazy or high perp, then a taser definitely won’t. Again, most rational people will back off when confronted, especially by law enforcement. A big guy full of aggression and drugs is hard to stop.
“Kovas, Limbaugh and others correctly pointed out it received little, if any national exposure.” This is patently false. In addition to the link of the video above from the UK (so it received international attention), the Taylor shooting was in the Washington Times, Fox News, and NBC News, just to name a few. Such a statement (1) doesn’t understand what makes a story go big, (2) proves that Limbaugh and Kovas are every bit the race baiters that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are.
The reason stories go big are a collaboration between the news outlets and the audience. I’d never heard of Ferguson before. There were riots there; there weren’t riots in Utah for either Taylor or Hunt, so the Ferguson case was more newsworthy right off the bat. Why weren’t there riots in Saratoga Springs? Because it is 93% white and a small town. I suppose the 7% of blacks and hispanics could have rioted, but it doesn’t fit black Mayor Mia Love’s tea party credentials to start burning cars, now does it.
Kovas and Limbaugh are really no different than Sharpton and Jackson. They race bait the white conservatives instead of the black democrats. For them to claim outrage is just hypocritical, and blaming the news media for not covering this is just stupid. It received international attention, but wasn’t as newsworthy as Ferguson.
Surely the police need to use other methods than deadly force to subdue suspects with their backs to them. Your scenario doesn’t fit the Darrien Hunt situation at all.
IDIAT, listen to the podcast from This American Life. The A&M researchers were shocked at the numbers too. Maybe your lived experience isn’t accurate. Maybe you could spend some more time empathizing with blacks instead of invoking your white privilege. Do we need to get Sharpton and Jackson to publicize the study down there, to counteract the Limbaugh and Kovas race baiters?
Utah County DA has ruled the shooting justified: http://www.sltrib.com/news/1777527-155/hunt-sword-schauerhamer-buhman-officers-officer
Personally, I think the Dillon case was reasonably covered both nationally and locally. The point these commentators were making, and I think it is valid, is that the Ferguson case was covered to the extreme.
True, it was a tragic case where a boy was killed and a cop’s life ruined for life – a lose, lose situation for all involved. This happens every day, but it is not something that should be on TV daily, it is just not that news worthy. This is the real message by Limbaugh and others, why all the attention? There is an bias motive in the media – they are pushing an agenda instead of reporting news. Dillon was news worthy, Ferguson was an agenda.
why are there not body cameras on police already? I read one study that reports of police brutality dropped 80% after body cameras were adopted in one CA town.
This is why we need police body cams.
I have not been in that kind of situation, so I haven’t been trained on what I should do. Cops should be trained properly, however. You said they are trained to shoot the torso, why is that? Couldn’t a leg shot stop a person? How does a person’s mental status suddenly make them super human? You say a taser won’t stop someone, well, then they need to develop a more effective yet non-deadly weapon. I just can’t believe the only option is to kill.
I agree with the body camera idea too. There has been a lot of speculation on these cases about the physical and mental state of the victims. They need evidence that shooting was the only available option left.
I was talking about self defense training, which includes cops. They have a right to defend themselves like anyone else. Even more so when they are serving or defending others. It also includes being in imminent danger.
The torso is a big target; thus harder to miss and have stray bullets create collateral damage. Also, it will usually stop them faster resulting in less required shots.
I did not say those with mental issues have super human strength, I said they don’t always know when to stop.
I said those on drugs (and will clarify some drugs) translate into super human strength.
The reason body cameras are not on all police is because the technology is new. I think many police departments are starting to come on board. The Taylor case completely exonerated the SL cops; it’s too bad the Saratoga cops didn’t have them–it may or may not have helped them.
“There is an bias motive in the media – they are pushing an agenda instead of reporting news. Dillon was news worthy, Ferguson was an agenda.” This is just a race baiting agenda by Rush and needs to stop being repeated. I’m tired of Rush’s irresponsible bull crap. I don’t trust one word from that money grubbing, drug abusing windbag. Why wasn’t he arrested for use of illegal drugs? He’s every bit a criminal he complains about. (Oh yea, he’s a rich white dude that can spend money on good lawyers, unlike the poor blacks that can’t afford Rush’s lawyers.) Talk about a hypocrite – Limbaugh’s face should be posted next to the word in the dictionary.
I have no opinion on Limbaugh either way. I can see your opinion of him is quite negative.
Regardless of who said it, the reasoning is right, ferguson was over covered and agenda driven.
I don’t care which conservative complains about agenda driven media. they are all absolute hypocrites and are agenda driven windbags. I don’t trust any of them and I am tired of the media is biased argument. Complaining about the media is just another form of stupid race-baiting and I am tired of it. All conservatives admit they are biased which when they complain about bias in the media is absolute hypocrisy. Stop the argument that holds no water with me.
MH – I didn’t invoke the privilege. I acknowledge it and account for it. I believe you are just as white as me, but I don’t live in lily white southern Utah. Me, my wife and kids rub elbows with more diverse people in a day than you and your family does in a year. I read the transcript. The Aggie study is called Breaking Schools’ Rules and came out in 2011. There is more to the study than what the broadcast cites. NPR did a piece on the study, too. Instead of race baiting you might want to read the full transcript, too, and review the way schools are trying to address discipline in schools. Like I said, 8 of 10 blacks where I live have not been suspended. Can’t say what’s going on over in Texas since I haven’t lived there in over 30 years.
IDIAT, “I didn’t invoke the privilege.” Yes you did when you said,
IDIAT, “Now, are those the only crimes being committed, or is there a bias in the newspaper reporting itself? I don’t think the newspaper is biased.”
I think you need to talk to Ken. He thinks the media is biased.
I’m curious what you read in the A&M transcript. Because right before my previous quote, it said this:
These guys live in Texas, and couldn’t believe their own numbers. Maybe the numbers where you live are worse than you thought. They’re worse in Saratoga Springs too. After all, they elected a black mayor, and still shoot black men. I’ll bet Mia Love was pretty shocked to hear that in her own town.
“There is more to the study than what the broadcast cites.” What is this more that you speak of?
“my wife and kids rub elbows with more diverse people in a day than you and your family does in a year.”
I think you’d be surprised how many minorities I and my family rub shoulders with. My wife’s best friend is Korean. I teach college, and half of my class today was composed of blacks, asians, hispanics, and polynesians (yes right here in lily-white Utah.) My kids have black friends and play with them each week, not once per year. (They even go to church with me.) Strong statement from someone who doesn’t know me or my family.
The executive summary of the study said 1 in 2 whites received suspensions while 8 in 10 blacks received suspensions in a statewide school system that is two-thirds non-white. Disproportionate? Yes. But no mention of race of teachers administering the discipline, whether the suspensions indicate “blacks are bad” mentality among educators. As I said earlier the study points to the pitfalls of taking a zero tolerance approach to discipline. Go read the actual study.
IDIAT, would you say the A&M study strongly, moderately, weakly, or has no evidence that blacks and hispanics are treated more harshly than whites?
Given that Cedar City’s population is only about 28,720, you might want to consider how diverse your town is. If I did my math correctly, there are about 16 blacks in your whole city. Statistically, you can’t be rubbing elbows with too many people of color:
Cedar City population breakdown by race
Race Cedar City Utah National
Caucasian 92.03% 89.12% 74.17%
African American0.57% 1.08% 12.56%
Asian 0.82% 2.03% 4.81%
American Indian 1.94% 1.11% 0.82%
Native Hawaiian 0.46% 0.93% 0.17%
Mixed race 3.81% 2.29% 2.68%
Other race 0.37% 3.44% 4.79%
As for the A&M study, I would say moderately simply because 80% is not that much of a leap from 50%. I’m not sure I agree that suspensions mean pipeline to prison, either. However, both figures are problematic. I didn’t try to digest all 100 plus pages of the studies nor look at any critiques of the study. But I’ll stick with my lived experience and my discussions with teachers in my area where the school district is 80% black. I tried to find statistics broken out by race, but couldn’t. We’ve actually dropped in number of suspensions the last 4 years. I do not believe the suspension rate across all races is nearly as high as it was in Texas.
Cedar city is an awfully long commute to salt lake city. Where did you get that I live in cedar? (I don’t.) I live in Utah county, work in salt lake county. I guess that messes with all of your assumptions about me and my family.
Glad to hear you agree that the a&m study provides moderately strong support for the punishment disparity.
Decrying the higher portion of blacks shot and killed by police, or suspended from school, or jailed, or other legal/social consequences, may JUST have a reason OTHER than ‘racism’. It may be that the action(s) taken were justified (or not) on their own basis. What’s required is a detailed study that categorizes each indicident according to severity. An analysis would then need to be rendered as to whether or not the reaction by the one(s) in authority was appropriate.
Look, I have mine own axe to grind about over-reaction by law enforcement. However, it’s been my experience that when the ‘race card’ is played, it’s b/c the argument has otherwise already been lost..ergo, paint the ‘victim’ and the cop (or principal) both Caucasian and THEN see if the response taken to the (alleged) misbehavior is reasonable. That’s typically what most liberals or self-styled “Progressives” resort to, like name-calling, b/c their position(s) of themselves lack merit.
Here in Northern California, the “Granola State” (fruits, nuts, and flakes all mixed together), we recently had our own notorious incident with the shooting of one Oscar Grant by a BART police officer. While I would have gone along with the Officer (one Johannes Mehserle) being fired for incompetence, to try and convict him for involuntary manslaughter, IHMO, was more about political posturing (and threats of riot ala the late Rodney King) than justice.
A movie, “Fruitvale Station”, was released in 2013 based on this tragedy.
Surveillance Video has been released of Darrien Hunt walking into a gas station with his sword, a woman a few feet behind, and she is not bothered in the least by the sword. Then more video showing Hunt running for his life from the cops. See http://fox13now.com/2014/11/06/new-footage-from-fatal-shooting-of-darrien-hunt-released-family-attorney-responds/
I don’t know how this shooting is justified by the cops.
When, for the past 13 years, we’ve been lionizing every cop, firefighter, and soldier as a hero, despite anything they may actually have (personally) done or not done to “keep us safe” or “defend our freedoms,” it is a very short jump from there to a thought process in which the life of the Hero becomes more important, and more worth protecting, than the life of the [less important, less wealthy, less white, non-uniformed] individual who may possibly have been considering menacing our Hero with an imaginary weapon.
The lives of a few inner-city black kids have become unimportant next to the worth of some 20-something community college grad with a Glock and a badge who has been repeatedly told that he is “the sword in the darkness, the watcher on the walls, the shield that guards the realms of men,” the Last Best Hope of Liberty in an uncertain world of terror. We’ve done this to ourselves.
“we’ve been lionizing every cop, firefighter, and soldier as a hero, despite anything they may actually have (personally) done or not done to “keep us safe” or “defend our freedoms,” it is a very short jump from there to a thought process in which the life of the Hero becomes more important, and more worth protecting, than the life of the [less important, less wealthy, less white, non-uniformed] individual who may possibly have been considering menacing our Hero with an imaginary weapon.”
Yes. The rhetoric surrounding the release of this man (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29734816)was quite disturbing to me. Certainly came across that victims who were police officers were deserving of more consideration than other sorts of victims…
The prime example of this in the US recently has been LAPD officer Sunil Dutta’s shameful screed in the Washington Post, “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.” The lede says it succinctly: “It’s not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy.”
The family of Darrien has filed a civil rights lawsuit: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/02/us/utah-samurai-sword-death-lawsuit/index.html