Police body camera footage shows Detroit officers fatally shoot and kill a young man Friday afternoon after he pulled from his pants pocket an object police said was a gun and pointed it at officers, firing what police said were four shots.
The man killed on the northwest side was 20-year-old Hakeem Littleton, who Chief James Craig said in a media briefing fired on officers unprovoked as they investigated a weekend shooting on Detroit's northwest side.
The deadly drama began when police arrested a man described as an associate of Littleton's, wanted on an unrelated warrant.
Craig said four shell casings matched the weapon recovered from Littleton at the scene near West McNichols Road and San Juan Drive. He said Littleton could be heard saying "you're not gonna take my man" just before he began shooting.
Three officers fired back with four shots, some of which hit Littleton after he was on the ground. Craig said Littleton shot twice more as he was falling. The gunfire exchange occurred within five seconds, Craig said.
The department, which rarely voluntarily releases video after deadly incidents, produced body and dash camera footage seven hours after the confrontation, amid clashes between police and protesters gathered at the scene.
Crowd has gathered after fatal shooting by police in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/TGsSdluURi— Darcie Moran (@darciegmoran) July 10, 2020
Craig said officers were investigating a weekend block party shooting that killed three and injured five in the area when Littleton was shot around 1 p.m. The man with him was arrested without resistance.
Craig initially described Littleton as having ties to a gang member suspected in the initial shooting, though later walked back the claim, saying neither Littleton nor the person he was with were supected of being involved. They were, however, suspected of having "ties to a local street gang."
Littleton was on probation from a 2017 unarmed robbery and felony firearm conviction, according to the chief and court records cited by the Free Press.
The Freep spoke to a man who described himself as the uncle of the victim. The uncle's statement was published unedited but appeared to relfect a story that rivaled Craig's:
"We hear one thing from the police and another (from the community, who) told us that the police pulled up, told Hakeem to get on the ground, he put his hands up, and these mf shot him in the back at the head.
"My sister saw his body at the hospital and he has two shots to the head, him to get on the ground and shot him in the head. F the police is how I’m feeling. We tired of white supremacy system. ... He worked all the time, doing his thing, just a typical young kid."