Detroit Police Officers were investigating a shooting that occurred at a block party during the Fourth of July weekend and arrested a man, Darnell Sylvester, who had an outstanding warrant against him for drug distribution.
While arresting Sylvester, 20-year-old Hakeem Littleton reportedly told officers, “you are not going to take my man, in other words, take him into custody,” and began firing at the police. Littleton fired two shots, including one seemingly right at an officer’s head, before other officers were able to return fire.
“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,” Police Chief James Craig said.
Littleton would continue to shoot even as he was falling to the ground, firing two additional shots that both missed police.
The incident set off tensions in the community with protesters “getting violent,” throwing bottles, rocks and even a water cooler at officers. Officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd and also made several arrests.
Today Police Chief James Craig released full body cam footage of the incident showing Littleton firing upon police. “It’s simply a miracle he wasn’t struck in the head,” Craig said of the officer Littleton fired upon. “As Littleton raised the gun in his left hand he was aiming at the head of the officer,” Craig added.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan commended Craig for releasing the video quickly. “The video is clear that the officer was suddenly and unexpectedly fired upon,” Duggan said on Twitter.
“Public confidence requires citizens to be able to judge for themselves the actions of our officers. I commend Chief Craig for moving so quickly to release the video publicly,” he added.