Protests erupted in Detroit on Friday after police shot and killed 20-year-old Hakeem Littleton earlier in the day. Within hours of the fatal shooting, rumors quickly circulated that Littleton was another victim of police brutality.
“We hear one thing from the police, and another thing from the community. The community told us that the police pulled up, told (him) to get on the ground. He put his hands up, and these mother f****** shot him in the back of the head,” Asar Amen-Ra, a man who described himself as Littleton’s uncle, told the Detroit Free Press.
However, Detroit Police Chief James Craig worked to quickly flip the narrative on its head, releasing officer dash camera and body camera footage within hours of the fatal shooting to dispel the rumors.
At a press conference, Craig explained that officers were attempting to arrest an unrelated man when Littleton told officers, “you are not going to take my man, in other words, take him into custody,” before pulling out a handgun and opening fire on officers.
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Littleton fired two shots before officers returned fire. Craig said that Littleton managed to fire two more shots as he fell to the ground. In total, three officers fired just four shots, Craig said.
The police chief explained that video showed Littleton aimed for one officer’s head — but fortunately missed.
“He was using a .25 caliber blue steel automatic pistol. This comes from body cameras as well as an in dash camera from one of our scouts,” Craig said, Fox News reported. “There were eight shots fired in five seconds. Four fired by three officers, one officer fired two shots, and then four shots fired by the suspect.”
“As Littleton raised the gun in his left hand he was aiming at the head of the officer,” he explained.
No officers were injured in the shooting. However, the involved officers have been placed on administrative leave pending a complete investigation.
According to the Washington Post, Littleton was on probation for an unarmed robbery and a weapons charge.
Graphic video of fatal shooting released by DPD to combat rumors on social media