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Body cam video shows Salt Lake City police fatally shooting black man in the back
Footage from a body camera shows the moment a Salt Lake City patrol officer shot a black man in the back on Aug. 13.
The video shows officers asking Patrick Harmon, 50, to remove his backpack. Harmon then attempts to flee, and in the moments following, an officer fires several shots at his back.
Civil rights activist Shaun King shared a link to the footage on Twitter, calling the incident “brutal police execution.” (Warning: The footage is graphic)
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 5, 2017
Another activist said the footage shows a “cold-blooded lynching.”
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) October 5, 2017
The video is one of three body camera videos taken at the scene.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Harmon had cycled across six lanes of traffic and did not have a tail light, leading officers to stop him around 10:20pm. Harmon eventually told the officers they may find a warrant for his arrest.
The officers told Harmon he would be arrested for outstanding warrants over aggravated assault and misdemeanor drug possession. After he attempted to flee, the police chased and then shot Harmon.
Both police and the district attorney’s office say Harmon threatened officers with a knife. The footage does not show the moment Harmon allegedly made a verbal threat.
Officer Clinton Fox told investigators he was “terrified by how close Mr. Harmon was to the officers.”
“Fox said that in ten years of law enforcement and two military deployments, it was the scariest situation he had ever been in,” the Tribune reported.
Harmon’s friends and family do not think he deserved to die, the Tribune reported.
“They just murdered him flat out,” Alisha Shaw, Harmon’s niece, told the Guardian. “They are lying. There is no way they were threatened by anything. He was only trying to get away.”
The officer involved in the shooting can be heard on the footage shouting: “I’ll fucking shoot you” before the shots are fired.
Correction: A typo in a previous version misstated Harmon’s friends and family intent.
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.