Wayne Co. Prosecutor announces charging decision in Hakim Littleton case

The shooting death of Hakim Littleton by Detroit police last summer was one of the city's higher-profile cases during a turbulent and combustible period between law enforcement and activists.

Littleton was shot after he pulled a gun out and shot at officers during an arrest of a separate individual that day. His death sparked a wave of protests that only added fuel to the fire in Detroit which had already been embroiled in protests against police violence last year.

The Detroit police chief has maintained his support and defense of the officers involved. But Littleton's brother Rashad says DPD mishandled the situation. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is expected to announce a charging decision today at noon.

"They should be fired, point-blank, lose their job, never work for a police station ever again," Littleton's brother said. "Chief Craig didn't apologize to my mom at all. He basically told the cop good job when it is a Black cop shooting another Black person in the head execution-style, which is deadly force if I am not mistaken."

The timing of Littleton's death came during mass unrest in America's cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pandemic had raised tensions during an exceptionally turbulent political cycle and election year. 

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But it was during the summers when race was added to the volatile cocktail and the role that police play in communities. There was very little property damage in Detroit compared to other cities, but the presence of unrest was visible for much of June and July. 

Then, on Friday July 10, Detroit police had spotted a suspect with an outstanding felony warrant sitting in a car on San Juan Drive in the afternoon. As they were arresting the individual, they noticed an individual walking toward them.

Police were told the person, identified as Littleton, was an acquaintance of the suspect they were arresting. As they went to investigate, Littleton crouched down, pulled out a small pistol.

"The officers were able to try to hold this individual. He then removed a small caliber, 22 caliber blue steel semi-automatic pistol and he began to fire a number of rounds at officer over his shoulder," Chief James Craig said after the incident.

RELATED: Detroit police release graphic videos of man firing on officers before being fatally shot

The shooting immediately sparked protests, prompting Craig to make the extraordinary decision to release bodycam footage of the incident later that day.

But even with the footage, Littleton's family is unconvinced the officers' actions were appropriate. 

The timing of Littleton's death came during mass unrest in America's cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pandemic had raised tensions during an exceptionally turbulent political cycle and election year.

"What DPD should have done on that day if they found anything on my brother," said Rashad. "They should have cuffed him, detained him, and then called my mom. And that would have been case closed. Instead, they chose to use deadly force."

Prosecutor Kym Worthy is expected to announce whether the department will charge the officers involved later today. Craig has said he will withhold comment until after the announcement. The activist group Detroit Will Breathe will also speak on the matter later in the afternoon.