Detroit police Chief James Craig has said the officer closest to Littleton hadn’t even had a chance to pull his own weapon before the shooting started. A number of shots were fired over a span of seconds. Craig said Littleton continued to fire after he fell to the ground.
Littleton was shot once in the head and three times in the thighs. No officers were wounded.
Littleton, who was on probation for an unarmed robbery, seemed to say something about not allowing officers to arrest his friend before he began firing, Craig said at the time of the shooting. Officers had no intention of arresting Littleton before the shooting started, he said.
Craig said following the shooting that he released the videos promptly because of what he described as rumors about the shooting, which he said included erroneous social media postings that Littleton had been unarmed.
“He pointed that gun” at the officer's head, Craig told reporters Wednesday.
“Mr. Littleton was not even a target,” Craig said. “Mr. Littleton engaged our officers. That’s factual. It was Mr. Littleton who could not understand why his colleague was being detained by Detroit police.”
“They’re not many options when a suspect decides to point a firearm in a threatening way or fires shots at an officer," the chief added. "There are not many options left.”
But Lloyd Simpson, a member of Detroit Will Breathe, which protests excessive force by police, said the group wants access to all video for an independent review.
“We are unsurprised that Kym Worthy would rubber stamp the murder of Hakim Littleton because her office is deeply implicated in the system that produced this tragedy,” Simpson said Wednesday. “Hakim Littleton didn’t have to die."
Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.