Recently released body cam footage has shed light on the controversial shooting of Patrick Harmon, a black man from Salt Lake City, Utah, at the hand of law enforcement. In response to protests from the usual quarters, such as Black Lives Matter, the city’s District Attorney authorized the full footage to be released.
After a full review of the incident, which took place on August 13th of this year, prosecutors in Salt Lake City determined the shooting to be a, “justifiable homicide” in which the officer were forced to act in order to protect the lives of the other police officers implementing the arrest. In the video, Harmon is seen, in the middle of an arrest, thrashing about and eventually breaking free from police. The suspect then attempted to flee the scene, and was subsequently shot.
In a brief interview. Police Chief Mike Brown told The Salt Lake Tribune that they authorities “trust the process and support the decision from [the] district attorney.”
“I believe our officers have the training and judgement and ability to make split-second decisions in dynamic situations,” Brown continued.
In the lead up to the incident, Harmon was pulled over in a routine stop – after police observed his car crossing 6 lanes of traffic, and the median without working tail lights. After being pulled over, Harmon then gave the police false information – a name that did not register in any police database. Over the course of the interaction, Harmon gave, “a couple of different names,” according to the District Attorney. As events unfolded, two more police were called to the scene as backup, in response to Harmon’s belligerence.
Eventually, the police were able to identify Patrick Harmon properly, and learned through the police database that he had a warrant out for his arrest – a felony for aggravated assault, just 4 months prior. Because Harmon had not shown up for his sentencing, there was a warrant for his arrest issued in May.
The officers informed Harmon of this finding, and announced that he was being placed under arrest, in accordance with the warrant. As police moved to handcuff the pleading suspect, Harmon, “bolted and ran.”
The three officers pursued the suspect, who suddenly whipped around, “turning quickly” to face the pursuing officers
The officer who originally contacted Harmon drew his stun gun, and another, Officer Clinton Fox, drew his firearm. All three officers reported hearing Harmon threaten to cut them. They saw him reach toward his right pants pocket and that he had something in his hand.
In the footage, it was shortly after that one of the cops is heard saying “I’ll f***ing shoot you!” before firing. Harmon is seen falling to the ground. Harmon was immediately handcuffed and rushed to a local hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead.
Unsurprisingly, even after seeing the full footage, and the lead up to the incident, Harmon’s family blamed Patrick’s death on racial profiling, and racism.
Harmon’s niece, Alisha Shaw complained, “He was just being profiled. Why do we have to fight so hard for justice? All we want is to be treated equal as a black person instead of being profiled and looked at as if we were a threat.”
Body cameras may in fact be the best thing that happened to those of us that trust Law Enforcement to do the right thing, and make the right decisions. If Black Lives Matter, and Al Sharpton are no longer able to spread the lies and misinformation that they use to fuel their riots and violence – peace may return to the inner cities.