DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke to Local 4 News Saturday morning about the shooting death of a 20-year-old man that sparked outcry and protests on the city’s west side.
The victim, 20-year-old Hakim Littleton, was shot and killed by police Friday afternoon. Large crowds filled the streets hours later demanding answers and protesting.
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Speaking Saturday morning Craig addressed a question about why deadly force is such a commonly used tactic in policing.
“As you saw in the video, that our officers were fired on. The next suspect was within two to three feet, and he was pointing a gun at the officers head. This hero who then quickly responded to try to mitigate violence, he ran, didn’t even have a chance to take his weapon out and he was concerned about his safety, and the safety of his partners. And you ask me how we respond to a situation like that, that was quickly unfolding, unbelievable,” said Craig.
He added that those are the kind of conversations which can cause antagonism and incite riots.
“What do we say to that officer had he been shot, what do we say to the officer in Toledo, Ohio, who made the ultimate sacrifice going to a call,” said Craig.
During a press conference Friday night, Craig criticized false information put on social media about the shooting that he says incited violence. There was a false report that Littleton was shot up to 15 times.