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Detroit police shooting turns into protest on city's west side

detroit police car
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Update: Friday, July 10, 11:20 p.m.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says body and dash cam footage show that Hakim Littleton fired at officers before they killed him on Friday. But that came after protests erupted in the wake of Littleton’s death.

“Say his name! Hakim Littleton!”

Protesters quickly converged at the scene where Littleton died on Detroit’s west side Friday.

There were some tense moments and minor clashes with police. Many said they didn’t believe the police version of events—that Littleton fired at officers before they killed him. But body and dash cam video released by Detroit Police Friday evening seems to show exactly that.

Craig says the investigation is still ongoing, but…

“Thank God for body-worn cameras and dash cams.”

Craig says he released the footage quickly because people were spreading rumors and misinformation about Littleton’s death, like saying he was unarmed.

“Clearly when you look at the video, and what we know in the investigation, that was not true. And so it was so important for us to get this information out as soon as we can,” says Craig.

Protesters questioned the police narrative about his death, and marched through the streets to Detroit’s 12th Police Precinct.

Original post: Friday, July 10, 6:25 p.m.

Detroit Police are already facing questions about an officer shooting that killed a young man on the city’s west side on Friday.

According to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, the interaction went down like this: Police came to the corner of McNichols and San Juan to investigate a July 5 shooting that killed three people.

While they were there, they saw a man wanted on a felony warrant sitting in a car. As police attempted to arrest him, they were approached by another man identified as an “associate” of the suspect.

A struggle ensued. That man then allegedly fired shots over his shoulder at the officers, who responded with shots that killed him.

But witnesses at the scene appeared to dispute the police account. And the site quickly became the scene of an angry protest, with protesters chanting and hurling insults at police officers.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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