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Saratoga Springs • As she marked the first anniversary of her son's fatal shooting by police, Darrien Hunt's mother said she has turned down a $900,000 offer to settle her lawsuit against the city and two officers.
The settlement would have barred her from commenting about the case, according to Susan Hunt, who said that provision was unacceptable.
"That's not going to clear his name," she said Thursday. "And I could not, in good conscience, agree to that."
Hunt said she has hired the law firm of the late Johnnie Cochran to represent her in the federal lawsuit. No court dates have been set.
About 35 people gathered Thursday afternoon to mourn 22-year-old Darrien Hunt and call for police accountability at the site where he was shot fatally at about 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2014.
Saratoga Springs Police Department Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson confronted Hunt after a passerby called 911 to report a man with a "samurai" sword was walking at Redwood Road and State Road 73. His relatives say Hunt was cosplaying or costumed role playing as a cartoon character and carrying a sword that was not a weapon, but a costume accessory with a rounded blade.
The officers say they fired several shots after Hunt swung the sword at them, and they gave chase when he ran away from them. Schauerhamer fired several more rounds during the chase before Hunt who was shot six times collapsed near a restaurant at 1413 N. Redwood Road.
Prosecutors said police were justified in shooting Darrien Hunt because they believed he was a threat to shoppers at a nearby store. The lawsuit, though, contends that the shooting violated the civil rights of Hunt, who was black.
On Thursday, Hunt's younger brother, Kerahn Hunt, re-enacted Darrien Hunt's walk at about 9:30 a.m., wearing a similar costume and carrying a similar sword.
Susan Hunt said police received multiple calls Thursday about that walk and three officers surrounded her son to check on what he was doing.
At Thursday's event, some of the participants wrote notes on cards and tied them to balloons that they released to commemorate Darrien Hunt.
They then marched the route of his walk before he was shot, and Susan Hunt walked arm-in-arm with Kerahn Hunt and her sister Cindy Moss ending at the spot where the bullets struck their son, brother and nephew.
"That was pretty hard," Susan Hunt said.
And to Kerahn Hunt, it's yet another reminder of how his brother is gone.
"It's painful every day," he said.
Still pending is a federal investigation of the shooting. Susan Hunt, who said Thursday that she spoke two weeks ago with Department of Justice and FBI officials, expressed concern that the federal investigators do not have all the available evidence, including surveillance video from two businesses in the vicinity of the shooting.
"My biggest concern," she said, "is for the truth to be told."