Bodycam Video of Police Shooting Sparks Outrage: 'They Just Murdered Him Flat Out'
Outraged protesters took to the streets of Salt Lake City after a prosecutor said no charges would be filed against a policeman who fatally shot a black man running from officers.
Bodycam footage showing an officer firing three shots, and another cop discharging a taser gun, were made public last week, when the district attorney’s decision was announced.
Lex Scott, who helped organize Sunday’s Black Lives Matter demonstration outside police headquarters, said his community wants Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill to resign.
“You can’t watch that video and video and not realize it is a clear case of murder,” Scott said. “It is one of the clearest cases of murder we’ve ever seen." Sunday's demonstration drew about 50 people.
Patrick Harmon, 50, had been stopped by police for allegedly pedaling across six lanes of traffic and failing to have a rear tail light on his bike, police said.
Harmon’s family is “shell-shocked” by his death, Scott said. Relatives said he suffered mental issues including schizophrenia and may have been homeless.
The bodycam video shows Harmon looking distraught as police told him he was going to jail because he had an outstanding felony warrant for aggravated assault.
Harmon is seen putting his hands behind his back, but then he bolts away from the cops.
As officers chased him, Harmon turned and pointed a knife at them, authorities said.
Officer Clinton Fox told investigators Harmon threatened to stab him. On the video, Fox is heard yelling, “I’ll f---ing shoot you.”
Harmon’s niece, Alisha Shaw, also called his killing a crime.
“They just murdered him flat out. They are lying,” she told The Guardian. “There is no way they were threatened by anything. He was only trying to get away.”
Prosecutor Gill said “Officer Fox reasonably believed deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself and/or others and therefore his use of deadly force was ‘justified’.”
The policeman is on modified duty pending an internal investigation by the department.
A knife was found near Harmon’s body, authorities said.