Karon Hylton-Brown

Heated Protest Erupts Outside DC Police Station After Fatal Scooter Crash

D.C. police say they tried to stop Karon Hylton-Brown because he was riding without a helmet. His family says they chased him, causing his death

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A heated protest erupted outside a D.C. police station for the second consecutive night as the family of a man who died after he was hit by a car while riding a scooter blames police for causing his death.

Karon Hylton-Brown, 20, died Monday, three days after the crash in the Brightwood Park neighborhood.

Wednesday night's protest began at a vigil at Kennedy and 7th streets in Northwest, where the fatal collision took place.

Hylton-Brown's mother, Karen Hylton, demanded to talk to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Karon Hylton-Brown and his infant daughter. (Credit: Amaala Jones-Bey)

Protesters then marched several blocks to the 4th District police station on Georgia Avenue NW, chanting "Justice for Karon."

“You chased my son down like a dog," Hylton said. "You hunted him like a deer.”

Police backed protesters away from the station, News4's Shomari Stone reported.

Some protesters threw rocks, bricks and fireworks at police, while many remained peaceful.

Police returned with percussion grenades and flash bangs as they moved protesters blocks away from the station.

Police said there were arrests Wednesday night and several officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but they didn’t have the exact number of arrests or injured officers.

The scene outside the 4th District station was calmer by 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Hylton, other family members and community members also gathered to protest outside the 4th District Tuesday night. Hylton demanded to be let into the station and said she wanted to see the officer who she said "killed her son."

"I miss my baby. That's my baby. You understand?" she said later that night.

Karon Hylton-Brown holds his daughter.Charles Brown
Karon Hylton-Brown holds his daughter.

Hylton-Brown died the day his daughter turned three months old, said Amaala Jones-Bey, his girlfriend and the infant's mother.

MPD says officers tried to conduct a traffic stop at about 10:10 p.m. Friday after they saw Hylton-Brown riding a Revel electric scooter in the 500 block of Kennedy Street NW without a helmet. They say he was riding on a sidewalk when they tried to pull him over. They say Hylton-Brown went through an alley and "collided" with a car in the 700 block of Kennedy Street. 

Officers performed first aid on Hylton-Brown and medics took him to a hospital, where he died Monday. 

News4's Jackie Bensen spoke with the father of Karon Hylton-Brown.

Home security video appears to show Hylton-Brown riding down the street near 7th and Kennedy streets with police in pursuit. Then he returns on the sidewalk as police continue pursuing him.

Police officers in the District are not allowed to pursue vehicles involved in traffic infractions.

Hylton-Brown’s family and girlfriend say police are responsible for the crash. They want more information and want to see body camera footage.

“He didn’t deserve to die like that,” said Hylton-Brown's father, Charles Brown. “He did not deserve to die like that out here.”

D.C. police say they are working with the family and the Department of Behavioral Health in regards to the release of any footage.

“We are engaged directly with the next of kin about their ability to view the body-worn camera footage. 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," Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice Roger Mitchell said in an emailed statement.

Hylton-Brown’s father says he has seen the police body-worn camera but declined to publicly discuss specifics.

Brown called for Bowser to get with Black officers and for Black officers to hold white officers accountable, encouraging bystander intervention, News4's Jackie Bensen reported.

“They need to check their other officers,” Brown said. “When they’re doing something that’s messed up out here, they ain’t got to do it out on the street so we can see it. When they get back to the precinct right here, they need to tell them, ‘Hey, yo man, look, that was messed up what you did out here.’”

D.C. police classified Hylton-Brown's death as a traffic fatality. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact police. Tips may be left anonymously. 

The protest Tuesday night turned volatile when a group surrounded the front door of the station and a man picked up a metal trash can and started smashing the 10-foot-high safety glass windows. Four windows shattered, according to police.

Some people could be seen picking up rocks and throwing them at MPD cruisers, prompting dozens more police cars to pour into the area. Six MPD vehicles were damaged and six officers were injured, a statement from police said. The extent of the officers injuries is unclear.

After that, according to the spokesperson, "The group dispersed from the Fourth District station and proceeded southbound on Georgia Avenue where they set fires, smashed storefront windows, and pulled bricks from sidewalks to be used as projectiles. In an effort to stop these individuals, MPD deployed munitions and OC spray."

One person was arrested, and charged with destruction of property/resisting arrest for "riotous behavior" inside the Walmart on Georgia Avenue NW, police said.

Anger boiled over in Northwest D.C. Tuesday night over the death of a man killed in an electric scooter crash. The victim's mother says she believes police are to blame.

At one point, dozens of people could be seen in a standoff with a line of police officers in front of the station. Police formed a perimeter around the station and closed roads. By Wednesday morning, the area was mostly quiet.

"The things that happened didn't have to happen. You know, he was targeted. All this — we wouldn't have to be out here. You know, if the guy would've just left my son alone, all this wouldn't have happened," Hylton said.

Revel CEO Frank Reig said in a statement Tuesday, "Our sympathies are with Mr. Hylton's family. As this incident is under investigation, we're awaiting more details at this time."

Shared black-and-blue Revel electric scooters, also known as mopeds, hit D.C. streets in August 2019. Riders must wear helmets and answer a 21-question safety quiz in which they have to get a perfect score, NBC New York reported. The vehicles can travel up to 30 mph. 

Revel shut down in New York City this summer after three riders were killed in separate crashes. The company relaunched and a fourth person was recently killed after she was hit by someone riding one of the electric scooters. 

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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