On Thursday (June 6), A utah officer pulled his gun on a 10 year old DJ Hrubes, who is developmentally disabled and visually impaired saying he believed the child might be an armed suspect all because he was playing in his grandmother’s yard in Woods Cross.
The Police Officer, Mike Daugherty drew his firearm and ordered the black boy, to get down on the ground. The officer’s action drew criticism and Jerri Hrubes, DJ’s mother confronted the officer and asked why he was pointing a gun at her son. The officer said nothing and just returned to his vehicle and drove off without explaining anything to the mother.
According to USA Today, Daugherty later returned to apologize, but Hrubes says the experience made her question her safety in the area. During an interview with KTSU Fox 13, the 10-year-old said he was “just playing, running.”
Jerri Hrubes, who is white said her son didn’t have any toys or objects in his hands and that after the officer left without a word she identified the officer on Facebook after the incident and wrote, “I believe it’s because my child is BLACK!!!!”
The Police chief Chad Soffe defended his officer’s decision during a press conference held on Monday , saying the officer believed the disabled child might be dangerous or an armed suspect because they had received tips that there was a shooting in the area and that the suspects were Black, Hispanic or Polynesian. He also claimed Daugherty did not overstep the department’s policies or protocol and will keep working during an independent review.
Lex Scott, founder of BLM Utah told CBS News: “That 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. And that’s not OK to do.”