CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Investigators say a CMPD officer who struck and killed a man on Saturday just outside Uptown, was traveling nearly 100 MPH.
Near the scene of the crash, an angel sits along Morehead street. 28-year-old James Short was hit and killed by CMPD Officer Phillip Barker early Saturday morning.
.@CMPD has charged officer in crash that killed pedestrian Saturday. Officer Phillip Barker, 24, charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.— CMPD News (@CMPD) July 12, 2017
“Listen this is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do, said Chief Kerr Putnety, about the charges against his officer.
“Imagine having to investigate and charge a family member. That’s what our detectives are going through,” said Chief Putney.
Officer Barker was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. He turned himself in just after 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators say Officer Barker was responding to an emergency call, with his lights and sirens on. He had a green light near an intersection on Morehead street when he hit James Short traveling at nearly 100 MPH.
Evidence shows Officer Barker was going @100 mph in a 35 mph zone on Morehead St., Chief Putney said.— CMPD News (@CMPD) July 12, 2017
Investigators say Short had a red light.
“The compelling evidence here is that even all the mitigating factors, we couldn’t overcome the speed or the lack of due regard for the safety of others. We gotta continue to make our community safe,” said Chief Putney.
Investigation shows speed was primary factor in crash, Chief Putney said. Officer was responding to emergency but speed was excessive.— CMPD News (@CMPD) July 12, 2017
Officer Barker was with CMPD for about a year and a half. He just recently finished a probation period all new officers face.
“I struggle because this is a mistake. This is not something that was mean spirited. It’s a difficult situation for us to have to deal with,” said Chief Putney.
Chief Putney says there is video of the crash, but it is not being released at this time.
“Policing is a difficult profession, carried out by regular people who like others sometimes make mistakes and poor decisions. Tragically, our poor decisions can have grave consequences. When we in law enforcement violate the law, we must hold ourselves accountable, just as we would anyone else. My thoughts and prayers are with both the Short and Barker families,” Chief Putney said in a statement.
A memorial service for James Short was held Wednesday Morning.