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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.”

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