DETROIT – A protest prompted by an officer involved shooting attracted large crowds in Detroit Friday.
Police officers were involved in the deadly shooting. It happened this afternoon at McNichols and San Juan just west of Livernois. Neighbors and police seem to have very different stories.
Protesters chanted about defunding the police and called officers racist.
According to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, officers were looking for a person involved in a Fourth of July shooting that left five people hurt and three others dead.
Officers say when they found their suspect they were approached by another man. Somehow a fight happened and an officer put that man in some kind of hold. That’s when officers say the man they restrained opened fire.
He began to fire a number of rounds at the officer over his shoulder. As that was happening the officer pushed him away and that is when the additional officers fearing for their lives fired off several rounds striking that suspect.
The man identified as 20-year-old Hakim Littleton by family was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
But family members who saw the interaction said that’s not how it happened.
They say Littleton did approach the officer but was unarmed and had dropped to his knees when officers pulled the trigger. His cousin says she saw it happen.
“They murdered him. Shot him in his back walking down the street. Oh they told them to freeze, ok put your hands up. And they did, and they shot him trying to put his phone in his pocket,” said Deseanae Wells, the victim’s cousin.
A press conference took place place Friday beginning 7:30 p.m. at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.
Craig provided additional information regarding the shooting at the press conference. He said Littleton has a criminal history that includes active probation and a weapons charge.
Video of the shooting shown at the press conference showed Littleton was armed with a 25 caliber blue steel semi automatic pistol. The footage showed him firing at officers. Video footage was taken directly from officer body-worn cameras.
Police body camera footage from the incident can be seen above.
He also noted that a group was present at the scene of the shooting and threw rocks and bottles at officers.
Craig criticized information put on social media about the shooting that he says is false and incited violence.
There was a report that Littleton was shot up to 15 times on social media. Craig called that an erroneous report.
We’re now looking at body cam video, in slow motion. The officer wearing the body cam appears to fire his weapon. Craig says it was only after Littleton was on the ground, still firing, he was shot by officers, while the first officer who was shot at was on top of Littleton. 9/— Grant Hermes (@GrantHermes) July 10, 2020
The video however is clear. Littleton was armed and fired at officers. The family we talked to was not correct. 11/— Grant Hermes (@GrantHermes) July 10, 2020
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan released the following statement on the shooting.
“The City of Detroit was one of the first in America to outfit its police cars and officers with cameras for this type of incident. Public confidence requires citizens to be able to judge for themselves the actions of our officers. 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,” said Duggan in the statement.