Protesters in Washington, DC are demanding answers after a 20-year-old man died Friday night after crashing a moped while being chased by police.
D.C. police claim Karon Hylton crashed into a car while fleeing police after they tried to pull him over. But Hylton’s friends and family are saying the police hit him and caused him to crash.
According to police, officers observed Hylton riding an electric moped on the sidewalk with no helmet around 10:10 p.m. on Friday. The officers said they turned on their lights and sirens to pull Hylton over, but he drove down an alley. Police said when he drove out of the alley into the street he collided with a passenger vehicle. Officers said they rendered first aid before Hylton was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Some of Hylton’s friends say they don’t believe the officers’ story.
“They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car,” one friend said.
“I heard a car coming really fast down the alley, and by the time I opened the gate, I heard it hit,” said neighbor Debbie Thurman, whose house backs up on the alley. “I don’t know if it was the car coming down the alley, or somebody from Kennedy hit him,” she said.
“Tell them to release the body camera footage,” another friend said.
Hylton’s girlfriend, Amaala Jones-Bey, said he was riding to a friend’s house to get his car keys so he could drive home.
“Over a moped and some car keys, he lost his whole life,” Jones-Bey said.
She is now left alone to care for their new daughter, who she says turned 3-months-old the day her dad was hit.
Protesters gathered outside the police station Tuesday night, demanding answers and accountability from the officers involved in the incident along with the body camera footage and a full police report from the incident released.
A DC Police spokesperson said the law prohibits police from releasing the incident report because it includes personal information about the driver of the passenger vehicle that collided with Hylton.
Protesters rushed the doors of the police station trying to get in and threw a trash can through a window of the station.
Police said rocks and bricks were thrown at officers and windows. One arrest was made and at least four officers were injured with non-life-threatening injuries.
“We are engaged directly with the next of kin about their ability to view the body-worn camera footage,” Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice Roger Mitchell said. “We are coordinating with the Department of Behavioral Health to provide the family with the space and trauma-informed support they need to view the body-worn camera footage.”
D.C. police classified Hylton’s death as a traffic fatality.