Utah officer who pulled gun on black child will keep working

  • In US
  • 2019-06-11 02:52:38Z
  • By Associated Press
Gun Pointed At Black Child
Gun Pointed At Black Child  

WOODS CROSS, Utah (AP) - A Utah police chief defended an officer who pulled his gun on a 10-year-old black boy, saying the officer believed the child might be an armed suspect and will keep working during an independent review, police said Monday.

The officer's actions drew criticism after Jerri Hrubes said the white police officer pulled his gun on her son, DJ, who is black, while he was playing on his grandmother's front lawn Thursday in a state where African Americans make up just 1.4% of the population, according to U.S. Census figures.

Police in the small town of Woods Cross north of Salt Lake City have asked the Davis County Attorney's office to review the officer's actions and how the agency responded, Chief Chad Soffe said. The unidentified officer mistook the boy for a potential suspect, but used good judgment overall, he said.

"We want to learn from this, we don't want people to be traumatized by our efforts to protect the community," he said.

Hrubes has said her son didn't have any toys or objects in his hands. The officer told DJ to put his hands in the air and get on the ground and told him not to ask questions. After Jerri Hrubes confronted the officer, he got in his car and left, she said.

Soffe said the officer was part of a group chasing suspects after authorities received reports of a shooting and were told the suspects were black, Hispanic or Polynesian, he said.

An attorney working with the Hrubes family said the mother was upset and still had unanswered questions. Jerri Hrubes has said the officer returned and apologized later that day, but the confrontation left her feeling unsafe in the West Bountiful home.

"If it's true that the justification to point a gun at this child is because they were told the suspects might be black, Hispanic or Polynesian, are they saying this officer was entitled to stop and point his gun at every male fitting that description?" said Karra Porter, an attorney working with the family.

Hrubes doesn't necessarily want the officer fired, but would be satisfied with an outside review, Porter said.

Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter in Utah, said her organization is demanding that the officer be fired and that they plan to protest outside the police agency's offices. She said the group is in the process of filing a complaint with the FBI's civil rights division.

"The fact that this police officer still has a job, and they've defended his actions, sends a message that any officer can go out, aim a gun at a 10-year-old kid, and that's OK," Scott said. "And that's not OK to do."

Centerville Police Chief Paul Child, whose agency was also part of the chase, said authorities care very much about the community's minority population and acknowledge the area is predominantly white.

"We want them to feel safe and know that we value them in our community," Child said.


This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of the first name of the attorney working with the family to Karra, not Kara.


More Related News

Buttigieg goes home to South Bend after man killed by police
Buttigieg goes home to South Bend after man killed by police
  • US
  • 2019-06-17 23:16:19Z

The fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer in the Indiana city where Pete Buttigieg is mayor presents both political peril for a presidential candidate who has struggled to connect with minority voters and an opportunity to show leadership on issues of race and policing that are critical - and personal - for much of the Democratic primary electorate. Buttigieg on Monday canceled several days of campaign events after returning to South Bend, where he spent the day meeting with community members and faith leaders following the shooting of 54-year-old Eric Jack Logan. Logan died after he was shot once in the abdomen from the front by a white officer who responded to a call about...

The Latest: No video of officer shooting in Buttigieg
The Latest: No video of officer shooting in Buttigieg's city
  • US
  • 2019-06-17 22:25:57Z

Authorities say no police video exists of the confrontation during which an officer fatally shot a black man in the Indiana city where Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) is mayor. St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said Monday that an autopsy determined 54-year-old Eric Jack Logan of South Bend was shot once in the abdomen.

The Latest: Off-duty cop may have saved house blast victim
The Latest: Off-duty cop may have saved house blast victim
  • US
  • 2019-06-17 22:09:32Z

An off-duty police officer's quick actions may have saved the life of a man inside a house that exploded in northern New Jersey. Hagop Cigercioglu was walking nearby when the house exploded Monday in Ridgefield, just outside New York City. Authorities say one firefighter and two police officers suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze.

California could become first to limit facial recognition technology; police aren't happy
California could become first to limit facial recognition technology; police aren't happy

Police want to use facial recognition software as a tool, but some California lawmakers say such technology represents a threat to privacy.

Leaderless and livid: The youngsters on Hong Kong front lines
Leaderless and livid: The youngsters on Hong Kong front lines

Young Hong Kongers who marshalled the fight against a police force that was armed with tear gas and rubber bullets have spoken of how they were pushed into embracing more confrontational tactics by the failure of years of peaceful protests. In a series of interviews with AFP, the young men and women -- most of them university students on leafy campuses -- said they had become disillusioned with marches and civil disobedience failing to sway the city's largely unelected pro-Beijing leadership. Hong Kong witnessed unprecedented scenes on Wednesday as youngsters clashed with riot police outside parliament to stop lawmakers debating a hugely unpopular bill that would allow extraditions to...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.