Salt Lake City Police Officer Cleared For Shooting Man in Back Three Times

Patrick Harmon. Photograph: Courtesy of Harmon family

On August 13, 2017, Patrick Harmon was shot and killed by Salt Lake City, Utah police officer Clinton Fox.  Patrick was 50-years old.

Initially, officer Kris Smith pulled Harmon over for riding his bike across six lanes and a median, and not having a red, rear tail light.   Smith called for backup and found that Patrick had an outstanding warrant.  As the officers took Patrick’s hands behind his back to place him in handcuffs, Patrick ran.  He was shot 3 times in the back.

 

 

The Deseret News gives Fox’s version of the incident as reported by the District Attorney.

“Harmon pleaded with the officers not to go to jail. The officers took Mr. Harmon’s hands and placed them behind his back. As Mr. Harmon’s hands went behind his back, Mr. Harmon bolted from the officers and ran,” the report states.

At one point, Harmon stopped running and turned around to face the pursuing officers while holding a knife, according to the report.

“Fox said Mr. Harmon came at the officers with something in his hand. Officer Fox said he was terrified by how close Mr. Harmon was to the officers when Mr. Harmon stopped and turned toward them,” the report states. “Officer Fox said he feared if he didn’t immediately use deadly force, Mr. Harmon was going to stab him and/or the other officers.”

Fox fired his weapon three times, according to the report.

“Officer Fox said that in 10 years of law enforcement and two military deployments, it was the scariest situation he had ever been in,” investigators wrote.”

According to the Guardian, District Attorney Gill stated: “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’.”  In other words, DA Gill did not charge the officer.

The officers wore body cams. That source also reports that Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill used the video in making his decision.  The DA did not publicly release the video until after he made his decision.

So, I watched the video.  I read what DA Gill told the media, then I watched the video again.  I repeated that 3 times and then did this;

Here’s the video of Patrick being shot down.

 

Studio News gives more about the incident.

Posted on 10/05/2017, in Cases, Patrick Harmon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Two sides to a story

    Life is cheap in ‘Merica. I despair.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Two sides,
      Cheap? In my opinion, there are people who place absolutely no value on human life, which is actually priceless. Yes — I also despair.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Deborah the Closet Monster

      I just read Surviving Injustice, an account of many convicted innocent Americans exonerated after spending years to decades in prison. One of the book’s appendices had a list of the most common 15 or 20 features showing up in such convictions.

      Unsurprisingly, police and prosecutorial conduct were detailed among these. And yet, to see it written (and justified) so plainly … rattled me. How can something so prevalent be so invisible to so many, still? I do believe the tides are changing, if (far) slower than I’d wish.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Deborah,
        The saying is power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There are people in justice system professions who take things personally and some even seek their positions for political gain. I listen closely during campaigns for State Attorney and one thing I’ve noticed is that they like giving out stats of how many “violent criminals” they have put in prison. Their opponents have nothing to counter on that basis.

        They have forgotten the many citizens whose cases they refused because they are not career beneficial. There is no mention from citizens about friends and relatives who were exonerated or convictions or sentences reversed on appeal. Most people are afraid to speak-out for fear of retribution. In other words, they don’t want to be wrongfully arrested and prosecuted.

        I wish I could agree with you that the tides are changing but that’s only because after many, many years of getting the right attorneys to prepare the right arguments before the right court with the right judge. If those organizations of attorneys dissolve, then so does the tide.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s inexcusable given the footage from the cop-cam that the policeman can give testimony that the man stopped and faced the pursuing officers and he was holding a knife. This is obviously untrue and the officer who fired 3 shots into the back of a running man who poses no threat should be charged with murder.

    Liked by 4 people

    • David,
      You’re being logical and going by the video. Evidently, the District Attorney is neither. I wonder — what do the mayors and police chiefs think that the people they serve and protect are suppose to think about them?

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Dreamer9177

    Reblogged this on Dreamer9177's Blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. WTF! What knife? When did he charge police? Why doesn’t the DA have to reconcile discrepancies between the video & his decision? Why aren’t police charged with perjury? Just total b.s.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vanessa,
      EXACTLY! I wondered what protocol was being followed. They stopped Patrick, talked to him for awhile, called for backup, but did not search him for weapons??? A knife suddenly appears as he is running away in the opposite direction. One cop was going to taze him but Fox decided to shoot him 3 times in the back instead. (sigh)

      Maybe it’s because of other incidents similar to this that my heart cries; my strength is zapped. For instance, Mark Anthony Barmore was shot in the back and killed in front of children and staff in the daycare center of a church. He was unarmed. The excuses given by those in authority are an insult to intelligence.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    *tears*

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Xena,

    There is no good explanation for what you are to see with your own eyes except police have a license to get away with murder.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As I see it, when you are accosted by the police, you have a decision to make. It is best and you are more likely to be successful if you have thought it through prior to the incident. When it happens one should instantly commit to the course of action previously determined. All the thinking has been done. It is time to do what is called for to survive.

    There is no practical reason to react differently to being accosted by armed police officers than being accosted by any other armed party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was a time when I heard that if you respect police officers and obey them, that they won’t abuse their authority and use force. Don’t run. Don’t talk back. Then we see cases such as Philando Castille; cases where the “suspects” did not hear officer commands, such as the incident with Dillon Taylor, also in Salt Lake City and investigated by the same DA.

      I fear for my country.
      We see cases where there was no pause between commands and actions, such as what happened to Tamir Rice. We see cases where people are not committing any crime and have no reason to anticipate being approached by LE, such as the incident with John Campbell III.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Unreal. It’s there on video. The entire thing. Showing they lied. Just like with Sam Dubose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Mindyme, along with Tamir Rice, Dillon Taylor, John Crawford III, Michael Sago Jr., and many others.

      I wish that the lawyers representing Dillon Taylor’s family and Patrick Harmon’s family would get together and require DA Gill to have an eye examine.

      But it’s Utah — the great state where officers conduct a high speed chase resulting in an innocent driver being burned (to death) but arrest a nurse for obeying the rules of her employer hospital. Can we not see what trickle-down lack of accountability leads to?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would like to see black people stop leaping over sawhorses and podiums to “forgive” the murderers. It is a message to those who already take black lives lightly that “it’s not so bad” to kill someone’s black son, daughter, father, mother, whoever. The family will just forgive me and we can all move on.

        “Forgiveness” requires contrition. It requires atonement. It requires confession of guilt. Without those things “forgiveness” is only turning a blind eye to the crime and the sin.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s been said that forgiveness is for the person forgiving. It releases them from holding onto anger. It takes away the power of evildoers, especially those who think their actions caused a permanent wound of some sort in the hearts of surviving loved ones. In some beliefs, it also releases karma to do the “payback”. Those who believe that they are not to feel any remorse because of being forgiven without asking for it, are deceiving themselves.

          Liked by 2 people

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