No charges filed in Detroit police killing of Hakim Littleton
"There has been an enormous amount of misinformation that has been generated on social media about the true facts of this case," said prosecutor Kym Worthy
Authorities say the shooting death of Hakim Littleton by officers was justified and charges will not be filed.
A Wayne County prosecutor announced on Wednesday charges will not be filed against the officer because Littleton allegedly fired a weapon first, causing officers to fire back, per the Detroit Free Press.
“There has been an enormous amount of misinformation that has been generated on social media about the true facts of this case,” said prosecutor Kym Worthy, as protests began to erupt after the shooting.
She added: “The officers in this case acted with lawful self defense, there will be no charges.”
The shooting took place on July 10, 2020. Officers say they were responding to another incident involving a man named Darnelle Sylvester. Littleton is seen walking by, but as officers surround Sylvester who promptly puts his hands up to be arrested, Littleton pulls out a weapon and points it at an officer.
He then pulls the trigger on the sidewalk near San Juan and McNichols.
Just hours after the incident occurred, officers released body cam footage that showed the entire shooting.
In the video, the victim, wearing an orange shirt, fires a weapon and is then fatally shot by officers.
“At this point, Mr Littleton points his gun directly at officer A’s head and fires two shots,” said Worthy. She added all the officers involved were in danger.
After firing his weapon, LIttleton runs and is chased by the officer who does not return fire. But when three other officers fire on Littleton and he’s taken to the ground and held down, he fires two more times.
Detroit mayor Mike Duggan agrees that Littleton’s shooting was justified.
“The video is clear that the officer was suddenly and unexpectedly fired upon. I commend Chief Craig for moving so quickly to release the video publicly,” mayor said last summer.
Detroit police chief James Craig said at the time he wanted to get the video out promptly because he did not want the public to think the shooting was another incident of police brutality.
“It’s important to get the facts right,” said Craig. “It’s always tragic when a police officer has to use force.”
At the time of the shooting, Littleton was on probation from a 2017 unarmed robbery and a felony firearm conviction. He was set to be removed from probation this year.
Despite his history, Nancy Parker, a staff attorney at the Detroit Justice Center said there is a reason Littleton acted the way he did.
“Instead of looking at Hakim Littleton and asking why he did what he did, we need to look at the situation around him and say what caused him to do what he did,” said Parker, per Deadline Detroit.
“It’s a response to 400 years of denigration and discrimination. He can’t just pull himself up by the bootstraps and make a life for himself when already as a teenager he’s seeing violence, crimes, police. … The mental toll this takes is debilitating.”
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