The mother of a 22-year-old man who was killed by police last year in Saratoga Springs, Utah, has rejected a $900,000 offer to settle her lawsuit against the city and two officers, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
Susan Hunt told the news outlet that the deal contained an unacceptable provision, a requirement that she refrain from commenting about the death of her son, Darrien Hunt, who was killed last year on Sept. 10 after police responded to a call of a “suspicious” man walking around a restaurant carrying a “Samurai-type sword.”
Witnesses say that Hunt ran off when officers arrived, and police say that he lunged at them with a sword. But Susan Hunt thinks her son was shot because he was black and said Thursday that accepting the offer would not vindicate him.
“That's not going to clear his name,” she told the news outlet. “And I could not, in good conscience, agree to that.” She has hired the law firm of the late Johnnie Cochran to represent her in the federal lawsuit, the report says. No court dates have been set.
About 35 people gathered Thursday at the site where Hunt was shot, mourning his death and calling for police accountability. Previous reports say that about 9:30 a.m. on the day he died, Hunt had been walking “near Panda Express restaurant, a gas station, an auto parts store and a credit union” with the sword strapped to his back.
Hunt’s relative say he was cosplaying, or costumed role-playing, “as a cartoon character and carrying a sword that was not a weapon but a costume accessory with a rounded blade,” the report says.
A photo of Hunt and the police just moments before he was shot shows the young man standing between officers but does not show the sword.
Prosecutors say that police were justified in shooting Hunt “because they believed he was a threat to shoppers at a nearby store,” the Tribune writes.
Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune.