Cosplaying While Black? The Homicide of Darrien Hunt

by Jamie Broadnax | Originally posted at Black Girl Nerds

This morning I read the link to a news article tweeted to me about Darrien Hunt, a 22-year old Black male who was gunned down by police on Wednesday September 10 by the Saratoga Springs police department. Several news outlets initially picked up the story as reported by the police and Tim Taylor, the chief deputy attorney for Utah county. His statement to the press was as follows:

When the officers made contact with Mr. Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr. Hunt was shot.

However, several eyewitness accounts state that he never held up a sword nor lunged towards the officers. Witnesses state that Hunt was running away from police when he was shot. Hunt’s fatal wound was a gunshot to the back. An autopsy report was confirmed that the entry wound was from the back because there was no exit wound. This confirms that the statement provided by officers and Tim Taylor clearly is inconsistent with the autopsy findings.

Going back to the issue of the “brandishing of Hunt’s sword,” the so-called sword in question was not a real sword but a fake Katana cosplay sword according to his family. The week before the incident, was Salt Lake Comic Con. Many cosplayers I know and chat with on social media say it is a common practice to see many cosplayers wearing their attire days after an event. It has not been confirmed if Hunt was cosplaying, but there are some questions that don’t quite add up.

When I got wind of this article on Twitter, from the website ThinkProgress, there was an implication that Darrien was dressed as the anime character Mugen from Samurai Champloo. The website embedded a tweet from Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) at the possibility that Darrien was cosplaying as the character.

At the time, Darrien Hunt was headed to the fast food restaurant Panda Express and was apparently looking for jobs in the area. It is not clear if he was dressing up in cosplay for an actual interview, but it’s pretty clear that the relation of cosplaying as an Asian character at an Asian restaurant is certainly something worth investigating. Furthermore, the fake toy sword that Hunt was carrying was never used in a threatening way according to eyewitness reports. Eyewitness Jocelyn Hansen, who was pumping gas nearby, took a photograph seconds before he was killed and in the photograph there is no indication that Hunt was a threat. Hansen also said she heard gunshots and saw Darrien Hunt running away from law enforcement.

The initial statement from Tim Taylor suggested that Hunt “lunged towards the officers.”

So now we have a problem. We have a 22-year old unarmed Black man dressed in what can be perceived as anime cosplay, holding a fake Katana sword, and heading to Panda Express minding his own business. Darrien Hunt never was a threat to anyone or anything. A civilian made a report to the police that someone looked “suspicious” walking down the street in broad daylight. This call was what prompted Saratoga Springs police to profile Hunt. According to ThinkProgress, a photo was taken of Darrien Hunt walking down the street. When the photographer was asked why they photographed him, she said she took the photo because Hunt looked odd, but that he didn’t seem threatening. I should also mention the fact that the town where this homicide by police occurred has a population that is more than 90% white.

The largest knee-jerk response I see on social media whenever an incident like what has happened to Mike Brown, John Crawford, and now Darrien Hunt is: “Why do we always have to frame this conversation around race?”

My answer to that is, “why do we have to avoid having conversations framed around talking about race?”

What is it about having conversations about racism and social injustice towards people of color that gets people so on edge? I’m not just talking about white people here, I’m talking about Black people too! I was amazed that there were Black people and Black cosplayers that were questioning not only Hunt’s motives that day, but his attire as well.

Seriously? Are we really going to scrutinize his costume or (perhaps not a costume) and ignore the facts of this case?

If we were to remove the notion that Darrien Hunt was cosplaying as Mugen from Samurai Champloo and was just walking around town with a fake sword in broad daylight, why would you come to the defense of law enforcement who shot and killed a man in his back six times?

There are also statements reported about Hunt’s history of mental illness and criminal record. Whenever cases arise of innocent, unarmed youth being slaughtered by cops, the media brands the victim as the villain. I’m curious to know if Hunt had no record whatsoever, what other excuse would be used to rationalize this man being gunned down in broad daylight?

Darrien Hunt’s own mother, who is white, immediately brought up the fact that this case is about race by stating explicitly that her son was killed because he was Black.  His mother says, “They killed my son because he was Black, no white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.” Below is a video from the local news which features Darrien’s aunt, Cindy Moss, also affirming the fact that race played a factor in her nephew’s death.

Stating that race does not play a factor in this shooting condones not only the killing of Darrien Hunt, but also justifies the fact that walking around with a cosplay weapon in broad daylight is enough to earn the label of being considered “suspicious” which are the same words used when John Crawford was killed for holding a Crosman MK-177 air rifle BB gun in Walmart found in the toy aisle back in August of 2014.  In both cases, Hunt and Crawford lived in “open carry” states.

Does the second amendment apply to Black people? In open carry states, are we allowed to carry weapons as freely as white people? The bigger question is, what exactly constitutes as being “suspicious” in the Hunt case?

The officers responsible for Hunt’s homicide are currently on paid administrative leave. They have also not been questioned under a full investigation by police. This is a red flag, because the officers who shot Hunt should have been interrogated immediately after the incident occurred while the event was still fresh in their minds. We are dealing with yet another case of the police “protecting their own” without any accountability for the events. Or even any accountability for the fact that the eyewitness reports are in alignment with the autopsy findings and the statement from Saratoga Springs police is unequivocally false.

So what does this story mean for Black cosplayers and the Blerd community as a whole?

The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying. We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embraced and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.

Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter. Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as “suspicious” walking down the street.

ALL cosplayers of ALL races should be upset and appalled by what has happened. This could be any of us in the Blerd community.

The asinine debate of whether Hunt’s attire was “authentic” cosplay or not, is a diversionary discussion used once again to justify the killing of an unarmed Black man who posed absolutely no threat when he was gunned down by police. I also believe that by finding every excuse under the sun to try to make sense of why Hunt should have been targeted by police does nothing to address the issue of excessive lethal force used by law enforcement.

I implore the Blerds of this community not to be hung up in those discussions, but to support other Black nerds who may have some trepidation about cosplay. That is what truly breaks my heart here. I also think that sometimes being Black we feel like we have to make others comfortable by NOT talking about race or what it is to be Black. Why shun your experience? Why strip your identity? Why elect to appease the one institution that continues to suppress and kill us? Does this solve anything?  Does it help deal with race relations, stereotypes, bigotry, and the fact that white supremacy plays a factor in so many of these cases?

We have to start talking about this. We need to have an open dialogue. We need to stop pretending and justifying the actions of law enforcement when they are wrong. We need to remember that for every Mike Brown, Renisha McBride, John Crawford, Rekia Boyd, and Darrien Hunt; there is another innocent unarmed Black man or woman that will be racially profiled, targeted, and killed for just being Black.

Jamie Broadnax is the writer and creator of the niche blogsite for nerdy women of color called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has written for Madame Noire, is the VP of Digital for the SheThrives Network, and was named part of The Grio’s Top 100. In her spare time, she enjoys live-tweeting, reading, writing, and spending time with her beagle Brandy.

47 thoughts on “Cosplaying While Black? The Homicide of Darrien Hunt

  1. Thank you writing this. I cried after i read it because as an African American who is into cosplay and Nerd Culture…to see how an innocent black man was shot in the back 4 times for just walking around in character is crazy. Even looking at the pictures, he doesn’t look threatening at all. There was no need for the cops to shoot at him nor harass him the way that they did. It is sad that in 2014 we have to now walk around like its 1950. Black’s have to now know the demographic of the city they are in, the police killing rate and racial profiling, city curfew, and make sure we are indoors at all time. These cops are out of control and are so quick to kill instead of talk. I know you say we shouldn’t be afraid but within the past 3yrs the death rate of African Americans killed by Police is just way to high. I pray justice is done here and those cops go to prison for a very long time.

  2. For, reasons unknown yesterday and today police and military forces believe people of color do not deserve because they are shamed by the fact their ancestors were enslaved by a superior weapon an automatic. Those who killed another woman’s child want their actions to be clearly understood those woman’s children identifiable color must give up their power to exist. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

  3. This is so beyond tragic… the most deeply disturbing part of it, is that’s it’s not a rare, shocking, or surprising headline. Where is our species heading, who is at the reigns. How do we correct our course?

  4. Ugh…this is disgusting. I truly hope that officer is fired, and never permitted to be in law enforcement again…there was no enforcement of law here, only cruel bigotry.

    There’s a reason that officers are trained not to shoot someone, even with a massive criminal history, unless they’re currently posing a threat…this officer (s?) was not acting as an officer that day, and probably hasn’t for years.

  5. “When you point a sword at someone, either you kill them or they kill you, there ain’t no in between.”
    – Mugen

    Lesson learned: Cosplay can be fun, but it’s OK to drop character for a minute when men with guns show up.

    1. That’s the thing, though. He WASN’T trying to attack them. Police “claimed” that he did but witnesses said otherwise. I would’ve said the same thing if the police were right, but he was being totally innocent and wasn’t even attacking as if he were Mugen.

  6. “Why elect to appease the one institution that continues to suppress and kill us? Does this solve anything? Does it help deal with race relations, stereotypes, bigotry, and the fact that white supremacy plays a factor in so many of these cases?”

    Did you know that the majority of crime against black people is committed by other black people? Do you think that has any influence upon stereotypes? Does that solve anything? Black people are killing black people more than white people are killing black people. That’s the problem. But when a white person kills a black person it gets 100x more media coverage.

    The only people who know if this man was shot because of racism I are those two cops. We can’t read their minds. If they did it because he was black, they’ll be judged for it. But for black people to continually play the race card every time something bad happens to them is ridiculous. You sit there and label white people like they’re snipers on a rooftop shooring down black people every where they go.

    The reason white people don’t want to talk about race is because they’re scared to say anything without being labeled a racist. And it’s completely one sided. If you are continually looking for racism you’re gonna find it even when it’s not really there. It’s an illusion. And the more we talk about it the more we’ll think it’s there when it’s really not. People will ask, why do people even see color, were all human beings. People see color because that’s all we talk about!! That’s all we focus on!! Just let it go. We can never overcome racism if that’s all we continue to talk about. It will always exist because we won’t let it go.

    1. Do you really expect the cops to come out and say “Of course we shot him because he was black”

    2. Ah, the old “racism exists because you whiny minorities won’t stop talking about it!” line. Attitudes like yours are why we need to keep talking about race. As if bringing up inequalities and power imbalance is what makes them happen in the first place. If white people are so scared to discuss racism with minorities, maybe they could instead address other white people when they say racist things. Call them out, change the status quo. If being called a racist is the biggest fear you have in discussions of racism, then you’re luckier than the rest of us.

      1. Keep living with the racist crutch and you’ll never be happy. Stop blaming white people for all of your problems. Isn’t it possible that not everything that goes wrong in your lives is a white persons fault?

        When someone is racist toward a white person and the white person calls them out on it, you here these same lines from minorities, “it’s not a big deal” “stop being so sensitive” ” you’re white, how would you know about racism” “you’re ancestors weren’t slaves” etc.

        I’m white. If I go into a predominantly Black Country or community I will be judged, stared at, asked why I’m there, stereotyped, and the whole deal. It’s happened to me before. There are members of all races who are racist against other races. But it’s only a small percentage.

      2. You still didn’t address the fact that black on black crime is 13x more likely than white on black crime, or that black on white crime is more likely than white on black crime by a factor of 72, based on statistics by the Bureau of Justice (

        Racism is stupid. And clearly not in your favor to blame whites anymore.

      3. @BigZ So now that you know what it feels like to be judged, and stereotyped, imagine that the “Black community or country” that you go into – the one where you “will be judged, stared at, asked why I’m there, stereotyped, and the whole deal” – is your own country. And that community predominantly controls the court systems, the police, the lawmakers, the banks, and places of employment.

        Imagine that instead of feeling that prejudice when running an errand, out on vacation, or just when passing through an area, you felt that prejudice when you wanted a loan, applied for a job, or interacted with the law. Imagine that it could lead to fatal consequence, at the hands of the state, with no accountability. Imagine your children look destined to face the same,

        The prejudice might be the same on an individual level. But the racism is definitely NOT the same on a systemic, societal level.

    3. Listen carefully, black people killing black people and white people killing black people is not what people are talking about. YOU are talking about TWO different issues here: crime and cops, who are supposed to protect people from crime, having the absolute authority to kill people with backing from the law and white people who think the victims deserved it because thy smoked pot or stole a cigarette. The issue here pertains to the fact that people who are supposed to be protecting us from the people who do crime are able to profile just because we look a certain way. You need to realize that just because you can shut your eyes and think race doesnt exist and never see it in your world, DOES NOT mean that other people can or able to do that. Black people experience police intimidation everyday. It is NOT the same thing as feeling intimidated by criminals. If you refuse to walk in someone else’s shoes and understand that their entire existence in this country may in fact be different from yours, then you have no business telling black or any other minority or anyone in a different social class than you what they should feel or do. Don’t turn around and tell us that we are crazy or creating this problem by calling it out. Isn’t that the ultimate privilege? For someone who has NEVER experienced being a black man or woman, who benefits from a society who has privileged them for centuries, to turn around and tell us to stop talking about it and it will go away. You sir, are ignorant of this issue. If you want to talk about it with us, then listen.

      1. You wanna know what ignorance is? Ignorance is getting on the news and saying that cops shot a black person only because he was black BEFORE even hearing any facts about what happened?? And when you were not even there to witness it!! You hear cops and black person and you automatically jump to conclusions. That’s called ignorant assumptions and stereotypes.

        Please give me ANY evidence that cops shot this man in Utah or the man in Missouri because they were black. You have NO evidence.

        And guess what, this might be hard to believe but white people face cop intimidation every day as well. Don’t ignore that or you are ignorant of the facts of police intimidation/brutality.

        And black on black crime is relevant. Every day there are white cops who go to the rescue for black people who are in danger from other black people. If the cops were so racist, why would they even help the black people?!

        Maybe you should put yourself in the shoes of white cops! How can they even do their job nowadays when they’re gonna be called racist no matter what they do? Are they supposed to just let people of color do whatever they want?! I’m not saying their job is to shoot people,, but they can’t even pull over a black person for speeding without being called a racial profiler. And in these situations when people get shot, things happen so fast. You try making a life or death decision within 5-10 seconds! It’s easy to sit there with 20/20 on what happened after it happens and then judge the cops for making a wrong decision. But unless you were in their shoes in that very situation, you gave no idea how they feel, so don’t act like they were just waiting to shoot a black person when an opportunity came. That’s a huge assumption to make, especially when you don’t know thse cops personally.

        So think rationally about your stance on these cops and then get back to me.

    4. The outrage is not about a white man killing a black kid, it’s about a white police officer killing a black kid whom the officer ironically swore an oath to protect when he took his job. As an agent of the state, his authority gives him the responsibility to uphold the law versus break it. Throwing out the tired argument about black on black crime negating racially charged killing of black men by white police officers only adds to the racist climate in which we live. For example, there is far more white on white crime than black on black crime, yet it would be silly to argue that a racially motivated black police officer killing an innocent white kid isn’t a problem because so many white people kill white people anyway.

    5. You know, your comment is funny.

      As a person who is African American, I can safely say that no one on either sides of my family tree all the way down back to slavery has ever been arrested with a criminal record; except one person only due to him not handling the death of his mother too well afterwards.

      Aside from that one person; our family was brought up to be educated, responsible adults that contributed to society.

      Now, please tell me how all African Americans are running around killing each other when no such thing has ever happened in my family; let alone other African American families across the USA?

      All African Americans aren’t dumb criminals or plain dumb.

      When I was in third grade I was told that I was dumb. The facts were that I had a racist white female teacher who failed me. The facts were the school sent me out to get tested for mental disorders and everything under the sun at the school psychological department. The facts were that come to find out I actually tested out to have an extremely high IQ. The facts were I was a genius. The facts were I transferred to this school from another school with a report card full of straight A’s, but this teacher have me straight F’s. I went on to college and graduate school where I’m now happily married.

      Why does this all matter? Because I’m “black in America”. My middle sister she is into cosplay and everything anime. Sure or parents might not like it, but that’s her. But if she walks out the door in cosplay or not all a cop sees is she’s black.

      I’ve been pulled over several times by cops for no reason. Literally no reason at all, but for them wanting to make their quota and I fit the ticket because I’m black. It got to a point that I had to keep a lawyer on retainer! I got sick of always going to court for something I didn’t do. My sister’s license is suspended for the same reason. We are tired of going to court for tickets that we didn’t deserve. In my hometown there are just certain streets your avoid because cops hang out there just to give tickets to “blacks”. Yet I see white people get off for tickets or instead of they are going to fast they just find the first black person near the car to pull over.

      To add insult to injury when I was 17 I was raped at gunpoint in my parents home by an intruder, and you know what, the cops were outside the door and laughed and did nothing! My parents put me in an all girls school to keep guys away from me not for that to happen.

      Coming from a law abiding family that’s huge in number, I have many police stories that I can tell and that’s just from my immediate family members; not including the extended family.

      Heck I have many non police stories to tell as well. My favorite of all time, the first time I was called the “N” word by my manger at work. The list goes on.

      So I’m sorry to tell you being black in America is not easy at all. Can’t say it’s been fun. I grew up in the south, but hey I heard it’s no better up north because up there white people aren’t as open with their racism as they are down south. So as an African American you kind of pick and choose where you are going to live. Jokingly, but then again maybe that’s why I live on the east coast now in the DMV area where there’s too much of a melting pot to see blatant racism on a daily basis.

      At any rate there’s too high a number of African American men, let alone individuals, (please correct me if I’m wrong we haven’t seen any African American women gun downed yet, if so I missed that news headline).

      Something has to give, because hey just because I went to private schools doesn’t mean I missed out on my fair share of racism in a majority white environment. But please, by all means keep using the all blacks are killing each other card….apparently I keep walking around with a gun I didn’t know I owned everyday, oh no wait I don’t own a gun because If I go get one someone might think I’m a terrorist too. I mean after all, after being raped I’ve always wanted a gun for my protection, and seeing as I live in a region with high crime I should be allowed to have a gun, but now that I became Muslim I can’t seem to do that either now.

      To be an American I sure do have a lot of hurdles to jump over just to be seen as an equal let alone a breathing human. But hey, being an extremely educated African American woman who happens to be Muslim now never got me down.

      Viva Sarcasm and Reality.

    6. Blah blah blah where all human (White ) There no racism because I am (White) blah blah people X kill people so don’t question when the military and the police that protect in serve randomly murder African American for fun !.

  7. I don’t understand why they don’t just fire the officers responsible for this when it happens and then launch a full investigation with at least 1 outside investigator and just blackmark the fired officers so they can’t get another law enforcement job.

  8. Wow, we heard none of this in the UK! I am into cosplay in a biiiiiiig way and while I am white it is still scary that something like that could happen. It does make me very glad I live in a country where carrying guns is not legal. Whether he was or was not in cosplay those policemen need to be brought to justice. They are not above the law and should be brought to justice! My heart goes out to this boy’s family and friends.

  9. Such a sad story, but why was he running away from the cops? It’s a good idea to stop when they ask you to. Even when you do that, there’s no guarantee you’ll be safe, but I think the chance is higher than if you run. I don’t know the whole story, so I would like to know more details.

    1. Even with that, though, something’s shifty when the report claims they were being lunged at with a sword, yet witnesses saw the victim running and the gunshot was to his back, not his chest.

  10. I see a lot of people overlooking the point that this was, very clearly abuse of power and something these officers need to be held accountable for. Statistics about who kills who more on average is pointless here, as this isn’t about some abstract survey of deaths by specific persons or groups, but a clear cut slaughtering of an innocent man because his skin was a different color and he had a toy sword. Now if you want to take race out, then let’s take race out and see how scary this really is. Race aside, this is a story of a harmless young cosplayer gunned down in the back by a bunch of paranoid officers for commiting no crime beyond having a toy weapon. I am sorry but that’s scary as hell no matter what race you are. Now the fact that he was of a different race is appalling, but one thing all of you playing this down don’t realize is if we let cops get off on doing this to someone whose black, and it ISNT a question of race, how long before they go after other races? Tell me that one. How long before the Asian kid, or the Arabic kid, or the French kid get shot down for a Halloween or cosplay prop? How long before the white kid with the ninja turtle nunchucks gets gunned down? How much will you let OUR PUBLIC SERVENTS, break their own rules? This is how it starts people! I dont care if your black as coal or as white as…..well me (seriously, I work third shift I am pretty close to nocturnal pale here), if you live in this country and you see yourself as American this should piss you off. See the signs of a totalitarian authority and stomp it now, because NO ONE SHOULD BE AFRAID TO COSPLAY!!!!!!!

  11. It angers me when authority figures can blow things out of proportion and they end up killing people.

    I can’t actually put my feet into his shoes because I never have been in that situation.
    However, from what I’ve noticed is the anxiety and adrenaline rush seems to make people do irrational things I just think everyone wasn’t thinking and properly dissolved the issue.

    – Running away, not good. Shows (dumb/asshole) cops that you have or going to do something wrong. And they want to be heroes and stop (or really start, tbh) some shit.
    – Police shooting him in the back instead of trying to physically apprehend him, stupid and doesn’t follow protocol.

    Dude. When will people stop being ignorant and understand that they aren’t the only ones on the planet?

    This was a pretty good article. Thank you for the information. People need to hear what is going on. Sometimes some people it’s just media blowing it out of proportion. But those people probably don’t even read the news enough to know there’s a bunch of other things to read, stop taking things for face value. Like, don’t get selfishly pissy and say black people are blowing it out of proportion. Don’t say we need to stop seeing race and be colorblind. That’s never going to happen even if things became truly fair in this country and bigotry doesn’t exists. And I’m sorry, I can’t ever say that would even happen. And people will always be greedy and create laws and preventing to allow people to move forward in their lives.

    It would be awesome if this ended. Just get all the stupid Republicans out of any kind of political work. That would be of significant help.

    But as a nerd, my only gripe with it is this article should have been edited more. Also it’s not AP style. I understand that this isn’t really a news site…But it makes it easier to read and understand for the reader to distinguish important information much quicker and easier. Especially when it’s going to be informative /and/ opinonated.

    (Not saying I can’t read, but majored in journalism and just trying to give helpful tips)

  12. Why run? If you run when a cop goes to question you, you are not cooperating therefore the police may need to use force. No matter what color you are you are not above the law. I am white and I was stopped by 4 cop cars and searched up against a cop car. I complied with the officers. After I asked them why me? They explained there was a robbery in the area and the women fit my description and was carrying a weapon. If you run you are making yourself look guilty and you could potentially be dangerous. Stop playing the race card when common sense is the real issue. Common sense- if a cop stops to question or search you comply and Then you can ask why!!!

  13. I keep hearing the fact that he was shot in the back as if it’s being used as a jab against the police and that he was allegedly not fired upon until he WAS running… so why run? If you are visibly armed and for some reason decide to run away from a police officer who has stopped you on the street… what do you expect should happen?

    The cops likely have no idea what a cosplayer is, nor if his sword was real or not, they were simply responding to a call of an armed individual. LAST thing you should do, ever, is run from police. It doesn’t matter what color you are. Flight implies guilt… so if officers are responding to a “suspicious” person who runs from them when they show up or approach him… guess what they are going to assume?

    This race-baiting shit got old a long time ago, is this really what passes for social media journalism these days?

  14. @Park Boyer

    So if someone was shooting you, I take it you’d stay there and take it like a champ? Guy was shot multiple times, there’s a decent chance he was trying to get the fuck away from the cop shooting him. Not to mention, even if it was a real sword, there’s no reason to shoot-to-kill on someone armed who’s running AWAY from you.

    But sure, bitch about “race-baiting” like the little shit you are.

  15. Fbi training. If a suspect has a knife how close do you let them get before firing? 33 ft. Studies show that a suspect armed with a knife, much less a sword, can drawn, run and kill at 33 feet faster than an officer can draw aim and fire. So if these officers had just let him run and he had been a crazy with a sword and then killed someone 5 minutes later we’d all be crying why did they let him get away? And if he has a sword, I am definitely not going hand to hand with him.

    Maybe one thing we should teach our kids is to not run away from cops. And maybe we as cosplayers should think twice before walking down the street in costumes that include weapons. Cosplayers can be stupid about this type of stuff. While at a con several years ago on of the organizers wanted to have a group of cosplayers “kidnap” him to liven up the show. I had to explain in great detail exactly how stupid having “armed” cosplayers do this in pittsburgh the day after a mass shooting downtown. Realize that dressing up in costume and running around even with a fake weapon can be extremely dangerous.

  16. absolutely horrendous and another example of the militarization of the police force. too many cops think they’re marines or something.

    but here’s a thing: if it’s going to be about race, let it be about race. he is labelled in this article and in the media as “black”. … did his mother vanish or something? he has just as much right to be “white” as he does to be black. as a white person, i would have no problem at all accepting him being “white” because it’s his RIGHT to be not only black but also white! he’s not “either/or”, he’s both! he’s everybody!

    so yes: let it be about race – the human race.

  17. Did any major media pick this up? I (honest to god) do not have TV access and would like to know. If they did not pick this up, Why? or is this not controversial enough?

  18. Thank you for writing a thoughtful article. I live in Utah and this tragic killing of Darrien Hunt has greatly impacted me. I’m watching the investigation closely. I can’t imagine homicide charges not being filed.

  19. I cant wait to be a jurist and give the Hunt family millions of dollars for this wrongful death.

  20. My list of things black Americans are allowed to do “while black” that won’t get you killed by police is dangerously thin. “Cosplaying while black” was my trap card for the longest.

  21. Thank you for this well written analysis. After reading your article the death of this young man saddened me even further as I suddenly pictured him as this attaching nerdy boy who’s deep into mangas and videogames, and we know how nerds can be: immature, shy, creative, laughter loving and soooo cuddly. Suddenly your article brought him even closer to home. Not just a young, precious Black life being taken, suddenly a boy, with all his contradictions, that made me think so much of a little brother. Tears in my eyes, literally. And yes, indeed, it is about race. Sadly.

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