Reason 24/7

Prosecutor Says Cops Justified in Killing Utah Man Holding a Sword

Police claim he lunged at them, but they shot him as he was running away.

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A Utah prosecutor on Monday said police were justified in shooting and killing a 22-year-old black man accused by officers of lunging at them with a sword the man's family described as decorative.

Issues of race and police killings had been thrown into the national spotlight just weeks earlier by the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

A grand jury is considering whether to charge the white officer in that case.

Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman told a news conference that police were right to have fatally shot Darrien Hunt in Saratoga Springs in September, saying they feared he could use the samurai-style sword to injure bystanders.