Review Board Says Salt Lake City Cop Was Justified In Shooting Man Running Away

Salt Lake City’s Civilian Review Board decided an officer followed policy when he fatally shot a man who ran from police in August.

The death of Patrick Harmon, 50, sparked outrage from advocates against police brutality, saying the man was needlessly killed. They say Harmon did not pose a deadly threat to police officers and noted a knife was not visible in officers’ body camera footage, reported Desert News.

“It just really hurts the heart to see somebody is that terrified and that afraid of being arrested,” said Jade Arter, an organizer with Utah Against Police Brutality. “He was running away from officers, and he was shot several times.”

Arter said she was sad, but not surprised by the board’s decision. Board’s like these tend to side with police, even when they kill a person who is running away and is obviously no threat to officers.

Desert news relayed the details of the incident:

On Aug. 13, Officer Clinton Fox fired at Patrick Harmon, 50, three times late in downtown Salt Lake City.

Police originally stopped Harmon after they said he road across all six lanes of a street without a required light on his bike. They determined a judge had issued a warrant for Harmon and attempted to take him into custody when Harmon bolted, according to the report.

Body camera video shows Harmon apparently pivoting toward the officer, the board wrote. Fox told investigators he was afraid for his and his colleagues’ lives when Harmon threatened him with a knife later recovered by investigators who found it on the ground.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill asked the FBI to review the case for possible civil rights violations, while the prosecutor says Fox had reason to fear he might die.

As expected, Police Chief Mike Brown stands behind the officer that killed the man who was running away.

Brown’s department said in October that Fox is on administrative duties after a period of paid leave, but he was not on patrol.

(Article By James Carter)