Police Shooting of Former St. Louisan Patrick Harmon Shown in Graphic Video

click to enlarge Patrick Harmon talks to officers before his arrest in officer Clinton Fox's body-cam footage on August 13.
Patrick Harmon talks to officers before his arrest in officer Clinton Fox's body-cam footage on August 13.

A graphic video released by the Salt Lake City Police Department shows a St. Louis man being killed by an officer there — a shooting captured by the officer's body camera.

Patrick Harmon, 50, was killed on August 13. But it wasn't until October 4 — seven weeks after the shooting — that police released the footage of his death.

In the video, posted online by the Salt Lake City Weekly, Harmon is originally compliant when speaking to the officers. The officers ask Harmon to remove his backpack — which he does. But when the officers attempted to place Harmon under arrested, he took off running before Officer Clinton Fox's body camera captures Fox shooting Harmon three times.

The video, which currently has 2.4 million views, contains extremely graphic content.

When protestors rallied in front of the Public Safety Building demanding the body-cam footage, Harmon's sister, Antionette Harmon drove her family 1,300 miles from St. Louis to join.

"I really appreciate this movement," Harmon told the City Weekly. "I appreciate each and every one of you that came out to represent Patrick Harmon, because he is a person."

Patrick Harmon was originally stopped by officer Kris Smith because he rode his bike across six lanes and a median without a rear tail light. Police say that Harmon gave a couple different names before Smith called for backup.

When Fox and fellow officer Scott Robinson came to the scene, they found that Harmon had warrants for his arrest.

The three officers' accounts of what transpired after Harmon attempted to flee vary slightly. Their statements are included in the eighteen-page report compiled by Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill, who concluded that the shooting was justified.

"Officer Fox said Mr. Harmon stopped running, turned and yelled: 'I'll fucking stab you,'" the report notes. "Officer Fox said Mr. Harmon came at the officers with something in his hand. ... Officer Fox said when Mr. Harmon turned towards the officers, Officer Fox saw that Mr. Harmon had an open knife in his hand."

Smith heard Harmon say "I'm going to cut ...." while Robinson heard Harmon say "I stab" or something to that effect. "Robinson said he couldn't remember Mr. Harmon's exact words," the report concludes.

That exchange cannot be heard on the video, which shows Harmon taking off and the officers firing just seconds later. (In his report, the DA suggests that still photos from the footage show the officers reacting to the knife.) The officers also acknowledge tasing Harmon even after he was shot.

Investigators later found a knife with an open blade at the scene, according to Gill's report. Harmon was pronounced dead that night at an area hospital.

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