Karen Hylton, the mother of a D.C. man who she says died after he was “hunted” by cops while riding a moped, is demanding answers.
So are many other D.C. residents who have protested in the streets and outside a local police station for two consecutive nights, following the death of Karon Hylton, a 20-year-old Black man, on Monday, according to the Washington Post. The tense demonstrations have drawn a heavy police presence, with officers at times deploying pepper spray.
In the middle of the protests is Karen Hylton, who has demanded that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speak with her about her son’s death. Videos posted to Twitter show she’s also confronted baton-wielding officers during the protests, covered cop cars with photos of her son, and banged on the windows of one building, asking that officers come out and face her.
“You chased my son down like a dog,” Karen Hylton said during protests outside a police station on Wednesday, according to WRC-TV, a D.C. NBC affiliate. “You hunted him like a deer.”
Police have said her son was riding an electric Revel moped on Friday night when officers attempted to stop him because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. After officers tried to make a traffic stop and turned on their flashing lights, the moped “exited an alley” and “collided with a passenger vehicle,” according to a press release issued by the Metropolitan Police Department Tuesday. Karon Hylton was taken to a hospital and died Monday, according to WRC-TV.
His girlfriend, Amaala Jones-Bey, said his death left their 3-month-old infant fatherless, according to WRC-TV.
The question is whether the officers were pursuing Hylton before he died, since D.C. police officers aren’t supposed to pursue vehicles over traffic infractions, according to the Washington Post.
The officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras, and the footage is expected to be released Thursday, according to the Washington Post. Two city officials who have already viewed the footage told the Washington Post it shows that police may have been pursuing Hylton, although the officials cautioned that they don’t have enough information to reach a final determination.
In the meantime, protesters are outraged. During Wednesday’s protests, some protesters threw rocks, bricks, and fireworks, according to WRC-TV. The Washington Post reported that police vehicles were attacked, and that officers deployed pepper spray and “flashbang” devices. On Tuesday, protesters broke several windows at a police station, according to WUSA, a CBS affiliate in D.C.
“He didn’t deserve to die like that,” Charles Brown, Hylton’s father, said Wednesday, according to WRC-TV. “He did not deserve to die like that out here.”
D.C. police did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.